March 5, 2014

Love It: Spirited by Mary Behre + Series 101

Series: Tidewater
Format: Print ARC
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance
She’s running from who she is…...

All Jules Scott wants is to live a normal, quiet life—preferably one that doesn’t include ghosts. Jules’s talent for communicating with the dead has brought her nothing but trouble. Despite her best efforts, needy spirits always find her and draw her into their otherworldly drama. When one implicates her in a series of deadly crimes, she may need to entrust her secrets to the person least likely to believe her.

He’ll do whatever it takes to catch her.

Detective Seth English can’t get distracted from the big case he’s working on, not even by his alluring new neighbor. He doesn’t believe that Jules had anything to do with the string of robberies-turned-murders that he’s investigating, but when she keeps showing up in all the wrong places, his gut tells him she knows more than she’s letting on. To solve his case, he’ll need to expose what the sexy redhead is hiding—no matter how impossible the truth may be….

Congratulations, Mary Behre! Your debut novel is a frickin' hit! 

SPIRITED is book 1 of a brand new PNR series, Tidewater, that features mediums. The plot of SPIRITED is like an episode of the now defunct show, Ghost Whisperer (Jennifer Love-Hewitt), where a floral shop employee gets involved in the solving of a burglary-turned-homicide thanks to the victim's ghost. The pace is fast and the mystery is gripping, it'll be hard to put down SPIRITED especially when you''re on the last 100 pages. And although I have an inkling of who the key players are in this whodunnit case, the way MBehre positioned the cast towards the big reveal still managed to surprise me. 

Julianna Scott and Seth English were very engaging characters. As individuals, these two have respective pasts which I liked as it helped build the tension of their romance. Unlike other PNR novels, I wouldn't necessarily consider their case as insta-love. Sure there was instant attraction and being caught up in heightened situations surely made that stronger, but they took the time to flirt and seduce the other. I also don't consider Seth as an Alpha male (Yay!), rather he's a "normal" man in love, protective of his lady and still very manly. He didn't go all caveman over Jules by "claiming" her or "marking" her as his. Rather his bond with our lovely heroine was very realistic and believable which I find refreshing. 

Jules is a delightful, warm, loving and self-possessed girl. She's not your new age, all zen and crystals kind of chick because of her ability, she didn't make herself out to be a victim because of her crift (curse/gift) nor was she a badass, gun toting heroine. She's pretty normal despite her random glazed expressions when she sees and communicates with ghosts. I love her dimensions and the way she led the first arc of the series. As you'll know more on the interview below, the first three books of Tidewater are about Jules and two of her sisters and in SPIRITED, Jules provided us with a brief backstory regarding that arc and her search to find her long lost siblings. From what was shared, it's pretty sad how they got separated. And with all this pain that Jules is carrying in her heart coupled with a failed previous marriage, I admire her for staying bubbly and light-hearted. That takes a lot of strength and courage and I hope we'll see more of that in the coming novels. 

SPIRITED has a light feel to it although the humor was sporadic after the first quarter of the novel. I love the contrasting layers of the characters, the supporting cast as well as the series plot. The conflict like I mentioned is slightly predictable in the sense that you'll have a framework of what happened midway but how MBehre executed the revelation and resolution still managed to astonish me. The pace was fast and even and the myth is simple with no ties to any pantheon, legends or lores. It's straightforward and rather normal where you have a set of siblings who have psychic crifts, I stand corrected of course as there might be more to the Scott sisters as the series progress but for now, I love the simplicity of things. It's believable which is rare when one is reading a fantasy story. 

SPIRITED also includes a short excerpt of the next book, Guarded, which feature's Shelley, Jule's sister who can talk to animals. Interesting because I saw this random reality show about pet mediums which I honestly found ridiculous. However I trust MBehre to put a good and believable spin on Shelley's ability which I'm sure I will enjoy just as much, if not better, than SPIRITED.

Y'all know I love my series 101's so I'm very excited that Mary Behre is here with us today to dish out the scoop on her debut novel, SPIRITED, and share some Tidewater basics with us. Enjoy!

Hi Mary! Congratulations on the release of SPIRITED! I've read advance reviews and a lot of people are gushing about it already. Woot! So can you tell us what Tidewater's about?

Mary Behre: Hi! Thank you for having me on Talk Supe. I’m excited to be here. Tidewater is a fictions city inspired by the real Tidewater area of Virginia. The real Tidewater is made up of several cities including Norfolk and Virginia Beach. In my books, Tidewater is it’s own city near them. And Tidewater’s residents have unique gifts, including seeing ghosts.

Fascinating. Aside from ghosts, what other otherwordly creatures should we expect to come across in Tidewater?

Mary Behre: Tidewater is pretty tame compared to other cities. No werewolves or vampires. But we have ghosts aplenty and locals who possess unique talents, including one person who speaks to animals.

Tame? I beg to disagree. I'm MORTIFIED of ghosts! *shudders*  Now UF/PNR series are big on myths, is Tidewater based on a particular one or is it an amalgam of superstitions and what-not?

Mary Behre: There are ghost stories everywhere in Southeastern Virginia. I was inspired to make Tidewater a home base for people with extra abilities.

Let's talk about SPIRITED, can you tell us more about book 1?

Mary Behre: Jules isn’t just uncomfortable with her psychic ability. She hates it. She’s lost her sisters in the foster care system because of it

Speaking of Jules, an you briefly describe Jules Scott for us and what kind of ability does she have? 

Mary Behre: Jules is a twenty-seven year old florist shop manager. She sees, hears, and speaks to ghosts. She also gets visions from them. Not long into the book, Jules learns she has a couple of new tricks. She can read Seth’s fantasies and see his aura. For a woman who’s not particularly happy with her ghostly gifts, she’s really unhappy to learn her talents are expanding.

Yeah that would be a bummer. Off to the hero, this interview won't be complete unless we talk about Detective Seth English. I love his name, btw, what is it about Seth that is swoon worthy? 

Mary Behre: Seth is an everyman sort of hero. A no-nonsense cop who is a devoted father, honors his mother and is anything but a mama’s boy. LOL He’s tough and smart and excellent at his job. But he’s not so arrogant that he cannot admit when makes a mistake.

That's an interesting combo, LOL. I see that with every Tidewater book, there's a different couple featured. How are the characters connected? 

Mary Behre: The first three books are about the Scott sisters. Jules is in SPIRITED. Her sister Shelley is a telepathic vet who speaks to animals in GUARDED, and third book, ENERGIZED (working title), centers around Hannah’s psychometric gift. In each story there’s a mystery, ghosts, and a new psychic gift. 

I love the title, ENERGIZED. How many books do you have lined up for Tidewater?

Mary Behre: Books 1 and 2 are already written. In fact, I’m in the middle of copy edits for book 2 this week. I’m also writing the proposal for books 3, 4, and 5. 

Tidewater is rich with quirky characters, ghosts, and mysteries to be solved. I hope to see this series go on for a long time.

That's fast & exciting! More books! Ha! Since Tidewater is a new series, which existing series does it share a zip code with? 

Mary Behre: That’s an interesting question. I have no idea. Since Tidewater isn’t a real city, it doesn’t have a real zip code. So I’m not sure how to answer. 

LOL. That's OK but from a fan's POV, in a fictional world, I think SPIRITED at least is like a lighter, PNR version of Kat Richardson's Greywalker series. What other projects are you currently working on? 

Mary Behre: Tidewater is keeping me pretty busy right now. 

Where can fans catch you?

Mary Behre: I’m all over the place but one big signing I’m doing happens on March 22, 2014 at Turn the Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, MD. I’ll be joining Cat Johnson, Addison Fox, Tracey Anne Warren, Erika Robuck, and NORA ROBERTS! 

Readers can also find me at the Griffin Bookstore 4/26, Kensington Day of the Book 4/26, RT Book Lovers Convention 5/14-18, the Frederick Book Festival 6/27 & 28, and RWA National Convention 7/22-26.  

Twitter style, sell SPRITED to the readers.

Mary Behre: A sexy psychic, a hot cop, & an interfering ghost make for a SPIRITED story of humor, suspense and a psychic love-connection.

Wonderful! Thanks for stopping by, Mary!

Mary Behre: Thank you for having me at Talk Supe!

Mary Behre could never decide which kind of story she liked more, paranormal, mysteries or romances. So it only made sense that she combined all three in her books. Her debut novel, SPIRITED, is the first in the Tidewater Series. Stories with humor suspense and a psychic love-connection. When not writing in her closet/office, she can be found hanging out with the most important men her life, her family.

Stalk Mary
Website | Facebook | @MaryBehre | Goodreads


  1. I normally don't go much for ghost-focused books (ghosts creep me out more than just about every other supernatural creature out there), but this one sounds doable--if the MC can be described as "bubbly and lighthearted," then it can't be too much of a creep-fest. And I'm also a big fan of non-instalove, so yay! for that. Great review and interview :)

    1. Thank you, for stopping by. I hope you love Jules's story as much as I did writing it.

    2. I don't like ghosts too but Mary's ghosts in this one are pretty behaved. You'll enjoy the story I'm sure of it.

  2. This is one I am seriously looking forward to reading. Love the synopsis and your review.

  3. Congrats to Mary on her debut release.

  4. I have been seeing this one around and the reviews sure are positive :)

  5. Damn, after your and Kimba's reviews, I know that I must read this! I have a feeling I'll be reading it soon.

  6. Sweet, I am so glad you loved this one too, I thought it was well done, and look forward to the next in this series :)

    1. Hi Kimbacaffeniate,

      Thank you! That's wonderful. I really appreciate the positive comments and reviews. Have a great day!

    2. Yeah, I want to see how the Scott sisters arc is going to unfold and the next one has an interesting plot too!

  7. glad to hear the pace was fast in this one, my grabby hands totally want this. Love hearing about new paranormal series :D

  8. Woot! I loved this one too :) Was such a great debut. Really looking forward to the next book and all the animals I'm sure there will be. Glad you enjoyed it too Braine :)

    1. Hi Herding Cats,

      Great to see you over here. Thank you for the awesome review and continuing to spread the word. Have a fantastic day! :)

    2. AMEN! And yes, the animal talking is such an interesting plot.

  9. Great interview! I am so in love with that cover, too. You are the second bloggy friend of mine to really enjoy this book. I will definitely keep it in mind the next time I'm looking for a PNR. Great review!

    1. Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for mentioning the cover. The cover artist is brilliant. I'm so glad other s love the cover as much as I do. Have a terrific day. :)

    2. It's not heavy on the paranormal in the sense that it's not riddled with serious myth so it's pretty light as far as that's concerned. It's still very romance minus the possessive Alpha antics

  10. I didn't know about this book! Why? I love ghosts books! I'm adding it to my TBR.
    Great review and great interview.

    1. Hi BookaholicCat,

      Yay! I love hearing that people want to read it. Have a fantastic day!

  11. Hey! I loved this one too and definitely plan to continue with the series. The idea of running into ghosts creeps me out, but I love reading about them.

    1. You and me both! I think my hair will turn white if that happens. The series is awesome right?! I love the series premise and the drama about the sisters.

  12. Hi Sophia,

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. :)

    1. Mary - thank you for checking out my review and for helping me moderate the comments! Congrats again on the release of Spirited!

  13. Sounds like a great start to a new UF series! I really like the fact that Jules is your average gal who just happens to be able to speak to ghosts. :) And Seth sounds super swoony!

    1. I so love the romance in this one, it's very contemporary. No Alpha shiznit with all their biting, marking, mating stuff. Very "normal"

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