If you are looking for the Once A Read A Thon Challenge, it directly follows this post!
Have you read Darynda Jones' Charley Davidson Series yet? I am a huge fan and I cannot tell you how fun this series is. You must read it and experience Charley's one of a kind humor. These are the perfect pick me up books when you need a good chuckle.
I am thrilled to be a part of The Fifth Grave Past the Light Tour. I have a review, excerpt and a giveaway. First, let me tell you about one of my favorite authors: Darynda Jones:
NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Darynda's World.
Here is a sneak peek at Fifth Grave Past the Light:
Ask me about life after death.
—T-shirt often seen on Charley Davidson,
a grim reaper with questionable morals
The dead guy at the end of the bar kept trying to buy me a drink.
Which figured. No one else was even taking a second look and I’d
dressed to the nines. Or, at the very least, the eight- and- a-halves.
But the truly disturbing part of my evening was the fact that my
mark, one Mr. Marvin Tidwell, blond real estate broker and suspected
adulterer, actually turned down the drink I’d tried to buy
Turned it down!
I felt violated.
I sat at the bar, sipping a margarita, lamenting the sad turn my life
had taken. Especially to night. This case was not going as planned.
Maybe I wasn’t Marv’s type. It happened. But I was oozing interest.
And I wore makeup. And I had cleavage. Even with all that going for
me, this investigation was firmly wedged between the cracks of no and
where. At least I could tell my client, aka Mrs. Marvin Tidwell, that it
would seem her husband was not cheating on her. Not randomly,
anyway. The fact that he could’ve been meeting someone in par tic ular
kept me glued to my barstool.
“C-come here often?”
I looked over at the dead guy. He’d finally worked up the courage
to approach and I got a better view of him. I figured him for the runt
of the litter. He wore round- rimmed glasses and a tattered baseball
cap that sat backwards on top of muddy brown hair. Add to that a
faded blue T-shirt and loosely ripped jeans and he could’ve been a
skater, a computer geek, or a backwoods moonshiner.
His cause of death was not immediately apparent. No stab wounds
or gaping holes. No missing limbs or tire tracks across his face. He
didn’t even look like a drug addict, so I couldn’t tell why he’d died at
such a young age. Taking into account the fact that his baby- faced
features would make him look younger than he probably was, I estimated
him to be somewhere around my age when he’d passed.
He stood waiting for an answer. I thought “Come here often?”
was rhetorical, but okay. Not wanting to be perceived as talking to
myself in a room full of people, I responded by lifting one shoulder
in a halfhearted shrug.
Sadly, I did. Come here often. This was my dad’s bar, and while I
never set up stings here for fear of someone I knew blowing my
cover, this just happened to be the very same bar Mr. Tidwell frequented.
At least if it came to a knockdown drag- out, I might have
some backup. I knew most of the regulars and all of the employees.
Dead Guy glanced toward the kitchen, seeming nervous before he
refocused on me. I glanced that way as well. Saw a door.
“Y-you’re very shiny,” he said, drawing my attention back to him.
He had a stutter. Few things were more adorable than a grown
man with boyish features and a stutter. I stirred my margarita and
pasted on a fake smile. I couldn’t talk to him in a room full of living,
breathing patrons. Especially when one was named Jessica Guinn, to
my utter mortification. I hadn’t seen her fiery red hair since high
school but there she sat, a few seats down from me, surrounded by a
group of chattering socialites who looked almost as fake as her boobs.
But that could be my bitterness rearing its ugly head.
Unfortunately, my forced smile only encouraged Dead Guy.
“Y-you are. You’re like the s-sun reflecting off the chrome bumper of
a f-fifty- seven Chevy.”
He splayed his fingers in the air to demonstrate, and my heart was
gone. Damn it. He was like all those lost puppies I tried to save as a
child to no avail because I had an evil stepmother who believed all
stray dogs were rabid and would try to rip out her jugular. A fact that
had nothing to do with my desire to bring them into the house.
“Yeah,” I said under my breath, doing my best ventriloquist impersonation,
“I’m D-Duff ,” he said.
“I’m Charley.” I kept my hands wrapped around my drink lest he
decide we needed to shake. Not many things looked stranger to the
living world than a grown woman shaking air. You know those kids
with invisible friends? Well, I was one of those. Only I wasn’t a kid,
and my friends weren’t invisible. Not to me, anyway. And I could see
them because I’d been born the grim reaper, which was not as bad as
it sounded. I was basically a portal to heaven, and whenever someone
was stuck on Earth, having chosen not to cross over immediately after
death, they could cross to the other side through me. I was like a giant
bug light, only what I lured was already dead.
I pulled at my extra- tight sweater. “Is it just me, or is it really
warm in here?”
His baby blues shot toward the kitchen again. “Hot is m-more
like it. S-so, I— I couldn’t help but notice you t-tried to buy that guy
over there a drink.”
I let my fake smile go. Freed it like a captured bird. If it came back
to me, it would be mine. If not, it never was. “And?”
“You’re b-barking up the wrong tree with that one."
Surprised, I put my drink down— the one I bought myself— and
leaned in a little closer. “He’s gay?”
Duff snorted. “N-no. But he’s been in here a lot lately. He l-likes
his women a little . . . l-looser.”
“Dude, how much sluttier can I get?” I indicated my attire with a
sweep of my hand.
“N-no, I mean, well, you’re a l-little—” He let his gaze travel the
length of me. “—t-tight.”
I gasped. “I look anal?”
He drew in a deep breath and tried again. “H-he only hits on
women who are more s-substantial than you.”
Oh, that wasn’t offensive at all. “I have depth. I’ve read Proust.
No, wait, that was Pooh. Winnie- the- Pooh. My bad.”
He shifted his non ex is tent weight, cleared his throat, and tried
again. “More v-voluptuous.”
“I have curves,” I said through a clenched jaw. “Have you seen
“Heavier!” he blurted out."
“I weigh— Oh, you mean he likes bigger women.”
“E-exactly, while I on the other hand—”
Duff ’s words faded into the background like elevator music. So
Marv liked big women. A new plan formed in the darkest, most corrupt
corners of Barbara. My brain.
Cookie, otherwise known as my receptionist during regular business
hours and my best friend 24/7, was perfect. She was large and in
charge. Or well, large and kind of bossy. I picked up my cell phone
and called her.
“This better be good,” she said.
“It is. I need your assistance.”
“I’m watching the first season of Prison Break.”
“Cookie, you’re my assistant. I need assistance. With a case. You
know those things we take on to make money?”
“Prison. Break. It’s about these brothers who—”
“I know what Prison Break is.”
“Then have you ever actually seen these boys? If you had, you
would not expect me to abandon them in their time of need. I think
there’s a shower scene coming up.”
“Do these brothers sign your paycheck?”
“No, but technically neither do you.”
Damn. She was right. It was much easier to just have her forge my
“I need you to come flirt with my mark.”
“Oh, okay. I can do that.”
Nice. The F-word always worked with her. I filled her in and told
her the deal with Tidwell, then ordered her to hurry over.
“And dress sexy,” I said right before hanging up. But I regretted
the sexy part instantly. The last time I told Cookie to dress sexy for a
much- needed girls’ night out on the town, she wore a lace- up corset,
fishnet stockings, and a feather boa. She looked like a dominatrix. I’d
never been the same.
Lots of fun, right? Can't beat the humor!
Here is my review:
Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson #5) by Darynda Jones
Charley Davidson may not look like your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper, but she has vowed to reap grimness wherever she goes despite this unfortunate fact. Sadly, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. As he is the main suspect in her arson case, she is determined to stay away from him until she can find out the truth. According to her therapist, however, she lacks conviction. When dead women start appearing in her apartment - lost, confused and terrified beyond reason - Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes's help, especially when it becomes apparent that her own sister Gemma is the serial killer's next target. With his ability to observe incorporeally, surely he can find out who's responsible. And even if he can't, he is the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return: Charley. All of her - body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay…
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published: July 9th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Five Stars: Darynda delivers another winner!
Charley hears a strange scratching noise under her bed. She finally gathers her nerve, takes a peek and finds a small, pixie of a girl who is frightened, dirty and dead. Before she knows it, her entire apartment is filled with terrified, filthy dead women who all appeared to have been murdered. Charley must get to the bottom of this haunting immediately. Aside from all the dead women, Charley is trying to determine who is responsible for the arson around the city. Strangely, all the burned properties have a connection to Reyes. Garrett isn't happy with her since his trip to Hell, and her latest client almost shot Cookie. There is never a dull moment in the life of Charley Davidson. Can Charley come through and clean things up once again?
What I Liked:
- Darynda never fails to write a book that will make me laugh and smirk. Charley's one of a kind brand of humor shines through again in this latest installment. There is plenty of snark and witty banter that will be sure to make you smile as you head on yet another misadventure with the one and only Charley Davidson, grim reaper, and company. There is rarely a dull moment in this one!
- I loved how all the story lines came together at the end of this one. Ms. Jones skillfully lays down several story threads which at first do not seem to be related, but by the end they weave together masterfully to a rather shocking finish. I always enjoy the numerous plots in these books.
- The romance between Charley and Reyes is moving to another level and I must warn you, it is scorching hot this time around. The pair seems to be done with dancing around, avoiding their obvious attraction. There are some steamy scenes in this one that may make the more prudish readers blush. If you like plenty of smexy scenes with lots of sizzle, you should enjoy this outing.
- Finally this time around, Garrett Swopes (who I think happens to be pretty darn sexy himself) delivers some exciting and interesting information regarding Charley. It seems she is indeed headed to do something big and important in a big battle to save the world. I was most curious about the entourage that she supposedly needs, and I am eager to see who slips into those spots!
- Charley seems to finally be growing a bit and learning to use her powers, granted she still gets her butt into a heap of trouble, but she is getting there. I am still waiting for the day she will stand up and kick some ass.
And The Not So Much:
- The ending was a shocker! Not a cliffhanger but it is a jaw dropping surprise that left me practically screaming. Darynda you can't end it on that note.
- As I mentioned, Charley still hasn't gotten to the point where she can totally stand up for herself, and it is getting a bit frustrating that she still ends up in horrific situations where she gets bruised and beaten. This time around is no exception. I want Charley to kick ass!
- I was eager to learn more about what was going on with Charley's dad, but there are no answers and he doesn't even hardly make an appearance, and there is no explanation for his restored health.
- I mentioned this last review, but I am still waiting for Uncle Bob and Cookie to get together, or for Cookie to get a man, but she is still left hanging and hoping.
- What was the deal with the naked guy ghost? He makes an early appearance and then he fades away and is forgotten.
- Why was Garrett glaring at Mr. Wong?
Fifth Grave Past the Light is another terrific installment to the ever funny Charley Davidson Series. If you are in the mood for a hilarious, paranormal read with grim reapers, ghosts and the ever so sexy son of Satan you need to read this series. You must read it anyway because it is one of the best adult paranormal series out these days. Charley's snarky humor will make you laugh and the story lines are always entertaining. Just do yourself a favor and get these books!
"Our relationship was a lot like underwear in a dryer without a static control sheet. One minute we were floating through life, buoyant and carefree. The next we were attached at the crotch."
"Coffee was that place where the sun comes up over the horizon and lights the heavens in a burst of vibrant colors."
"Freaking men. It didn't matter what the problem was, they saw only three solutions to it: food, sex, war."
"I don't expect everything to be handed to me. Just set it down wherever. ---t-shirt."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
As part of the tour, I am pleased to offer you a chance to win a signed copy of this fantastic book. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter. Please note: This giveaway is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and I will not be responsible for selecting the winners and sending out the prize. Good Luck! Follow the rest of the tour for more chances to win!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Speaking of Audible, if you get the chance to do the audiobook versions, I would highly recommend them. The narrator Lorelei King is fantastic.
If you are new to the series or just behind....here is the entire series to date:
See where it all started grab First Grave on the Right as it is only $3.99 on Kindle.
Finally, for all of you who love the funny t-shirt sayings in the books you can now purchase t-shirts on Darynda's website! See all the fun here.
A huge thanks to Dana for all her help with the tour! Happy Reading!