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April 22, 2014

Loved It: Twisted Miracles by AJ Larrieu +7Reasons Why Telekinesis Rocks

Series: The Shadowminds 1
Format: Mobi
Read The First 2 Chapters
Release Date: April 7, 2014
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Cass Weatherfield’s powers come with a deadly price.

Cass knows it was her telekinetic gift that killed a college classmate five years back, even if no one else believes her. She’s lived in hiding from her fellow shadowminds ever since, plagued by guilt and suppressing her abilities with sedatives. Until the night her past walks back into her life in the form of sexy Shane Tanner, the ex-boyfriend who trained her…and the one she left without saying goodbye.

When Shane tells her that his twin sister, Mina—Cass’s childhood friend—is missing, Cass vows to help, which means returning to New Orleans to use her dangerous skills in the search. But finding Mina only leads to darker questions. As Cass and Shane race to learn who is targeting shadowminds, they find themselves drawn to each other, body and soul. Just as their powerful intimacy reignites, events take a terrifying turn, and Cass realizes that to save the people she loves, she must embrace the powers that ruined her life.
3.5 Cauldrons to be exact

A world filled with telekinetics who can skim your memories or hurl you with a blink of an eye with angels as guardians set in the mystical state of Louisiana. That's the kind of world AJ Larrieu created in TWISTED MIRACLES, book 1 of her debut series, The Shadowminds. You can tell that Ms. Larrieu is a devoted urban fantasy reader because she hit all the marks in TWISTED MIRACLES. You have a heroine who's on the brink of honing a unique and impressive powers, a series of murders committed by a mystery man draining powers from his victims, and a love story that's a bit angsty but sincere. I suggest you read the excerpt so you can get a clear snapshot of what TWISTED MIRACLES' plot is about. 

The world building isn't that complicated, AJ Larrieu didn't go hardcore on the myth, she just gave bits and pieces here and there, enough to loosely establish what we're dealing with. I'm not sure if we're going to meet the usual creatures, weres and vamps, so far there's a LOT of  people with varying mind powers and Guardian Angels, wings and all, serving as consultants/keepers. I would like to know more about these angels because they're not very angelic, cunning is the best adjective, I think, to describe these winged creatures. If one is to compare, these guardians are more like Nephilims than Angels.

I didn't really connect much with Cass Weatherfield but it sure was fun watching her grow into her powers and sort out her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Shane Tanner. I love the build-up of Cass' character side by side with the mystery. The level of confusion and putting the puzzles together are layered in the story, one in terms of Cass adjusting to her powers and personal relationships and the other in solving the murder mysteries. My least favorite part of the book is Cass' training, albeit necessary to see, because it was very Karate Kid. The telekinesis and mindspeak is something I still have to get acclimated to, it felt both personal and not intimate at the same time. Nitpicking? Probably. Shane Tanner, I don't really have a clear grasp on his character yet aside from he's madly in love with Cass and would do anything for her. Together they make a great team though and I'm sure there are more fabtastic adventures ahead of them.

That said, I think AJ Larrieu perfectly positioned her characters and the plot right in the middle. TWISTED MIRACLES (for me) may not have been a super duper awesome series intro BUT I believe this is good because the way things developed and ended, The Shadowminds is headed north, which is a good thing. No pressure to outdo the previous, perfect place for more build-up. Bigger things are about to happen and like I said, Cass is in the perfect place to shoot up and grow into a very strong heroine now that she knows what she is and has the tools to hone her skills. I guess you can say TWISTED MIRACLES is a teaser of some sort, it just has the right amount of flavor to get you to read the next one. And I'm looking forward to the next bite!





Top Seven Reasons Telekinesis is the Best Superpower




I know Superman’s ability to fly is pretty awesome, and I wouldn’t mind the super-strength, but I’ve always thought telekinesis and telepathy would be the best superpowers. Case in point: A few years ago, while I was writing the first draft of Twisted Miracles, I was rushing out the door on my way to work. I was holding my keys along with the bag of trash, planning to dump the garbage on my way to the car. Well, you can guess what happened next. My keys went into the bin along with the trash, and I spent the next half hour digging them out. This was a multi-unit apartment building, and not everyone bagged their garbage up in nice, tightly tied Glad bags.

It was extremely unpleasant.

I was very late for work.

If only I were telekinetic like my heroine, Cass, all of this unpleasantness could have been avoided. And there are so many other advantages:

  1. You don’t have to get up from the couch to stir the red beans. 
  2. How many telekinetics does it take to change a light bulb in a fourteen-foot Louisiana ceiling fixture? One, and no ladders required.
  3. You never have to pause a movie to get more popcorn again.
  4. You don’t need anyone’s help to zip up your favorite little black dress. (Wait, maybe this is actually a downside…)
  5. When your toddler drops his pacifier in the airport while you’re holding him, a diaper bag, a purse, and a plastic sack full of sandwiches and Cheerios, you won’t have to bend down to pick it up.
  6. When unpleasant people try to cut in line or steal your cab, you can terrify them into thinking they’re being haunted by hair-pulling ghosts.
  7. Finally, and most importantly: Move over, vampires. Telekinetics are the BEST in bed. 

What’s your favorite superpower?


A.J. Larrieu grew up in small-town Louisiana, where she spent her summers working in her family's bakery, exploring the swamps around her home and reading science fiction and fantasy novels under the covers. She attended Louisiana State University, where she majored in biochemistry and wrote bad poetry on the side. Despite pursuing a Ph.D. in biology, she couldn't kick the writing habit, and by the time she graduated, she had an addiction to writing sexy urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Her first book, Twisted Miracles, was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart® competition in 2012. The book kicks off her dark, romantic urban fantasy series, The Shadowminds, which follows a group of humans with unusual powers through New Orleans' supernatural underworld. A.J. is currently a working biophysicist in San Francisco, where she lives with her family and too many books.

Stalk AJ








40 comments:

  1. I would never get up from the sofa

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  2. Favorite superpower? I think I'm going to have to go with telekinesis too. Just think, I could cook dinner, play with the puppies, and do all my household chores without getting up from the computer. Sweet! And terrifying people by making them think there are hair-pulling ghosts is an excellent perk too! Thanks for introducing me to this series Braine!

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    1. You're welcome! You make great points, I think every working mom should have telekinesis...

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  3. I was just thinking time manipulation was the best superpower but I think A.J.'s list might convert me to telekinesis. lol #2 is a huge problem in my house where I have a 20ft high ceiling fan with lights I never turn on so I won't have to buy a ladder to change them. XD

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    1. hahaha! Crazy chick! You can always hire a hot handyman to change 'em

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  4. I love thickset in Louisiana! They always make me homesick, but in a good way. Despite not being completely blown away, this is pretty good start to a series. Thanks for the review, running! Thanks for the review Braine!

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    1. Are you from there?! Lucky girl! I want to go, I've romanticized that place for so long!

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  5. Ooo mental powers are always fun ones for me :) You've got me curious about these angels. I don't think I've read that combo in a para/uf yet.

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    1. Now you know where to go if you want to try it :)

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  6. I think invisibility would be pretty cool! But reading that list advocating telekinesis is pretty convincing. ;) I think I saw this on your BB&B post before, maybe? I'm pretty sure I saw it here...it was already on my TBR. And I'm even more intrigued now. Louisiana makes a great back drop for a UF story and I'm eager to learn all about telekinetic powers, too.

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    1. Oooh invisibility is good. Mind reading scares me, I don't think I'm ready to "hear" what crazy thoughts people are thinking.

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  7. Sounds like a strong first book to the series. I had cases where I couldn't connect with the heroine right away, but if the world was interesting and well developed I still enjoyed the story overall. Looks like I need to keep and eye on this series.
    Thanks :)

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    1. In hindsight I'm glad she didn't go all out with the first book and set the bar too high. It's best to start midpoint and slowly build from there.

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  8. I think super human strength would be cool. :)

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    1. As long as you don't don your underwear over your pants we're good :P

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  9. I want to speed read . I love the setting and powers described in the book. This is one I think I would enjoy!

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    1. Oh man, that would be a great power! Or read a book with a single touch and retain all the details and feelings.

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  10. Oh wow! Twisted Miracles sounds like a good read. It's always good when an author gets it right with an Urban Fantasy! Great review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  11. It's funny I don't know why but the cover makes me think of the ones by Carolyn Crane. I didn't really know this one and well it's UF! So I know that I need to read it lol. Plus, it sounds really good even if you didn't connect withe the main character and that the world building isn't really new.

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    1. Now that you mentioned it, it does look kinda like it.

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  12. Excellent case for TKs having the best superpower. I still think I'd like super strength or the ability to fly OR to be able to heal from anything (save the cheerleader, save the world ;) ). Great review/post!

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  13. This sounds great! I think having telekinesis would be VERY helpful! I like that the setting is in the south too. :)

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    1. It would be, I sure would get a lot of shiznit done. That would be better than cloning oneself

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  14. I think I would also like Telekinesis. OMG, the things I could do to scare the begeebers outta my kids!!!! =D hehehe But seriously....yeah right my head is now full of things I could do to scare DD's boyfriend when he's kissing her goodnight!!! rofl OK seriously though....I'd also like to have healing powers. Yeah, cause I'd have to heal the BF after he almost kills himself getting away!!! OMG Braine, you've just turned today into a day of plotting!! LOL ;)

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    1. Hahaha! You're a meanbut cool mom! I think that'll be awesome though. OMG I can't stop laughing at your comment, Sherri, thanks! I need the laughs!

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  15. I've never heard of this one but it sounds like I need to get on it. I always thought flying would be really fun but you got me thinking about how cool telekinesis would be now! Thanks for a good review!

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    1. Hmm maybe you can fly once you become a super powerful telekinetic. You can maybe make yourself fly or something like that, levitate at least!

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  16. I think I would love to be a mind reader although this post makes Telekinesis sound really cool. Great review and looks like another great start to a UF series.

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    1. I'd be so scared about mind reading, I'm not ready to delve into other people's dark thoughts...

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  17. Telekinetic and mindspeaking? Haven't read all that many with either of those powers.

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    1. Me too, aside from Sookie, there's only a handful of lead characters that has this power.

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  18. I would love to have TK... just thinking about all the things I could do... *insert evil laugh*
    Love the cover of this book, it's very NOLA.

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  19. The angels in this one do sound interesting, I myself would love to know more.

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    1. Yeah, I want to know what other roles they play aside from being guides and guardians. And they sound cunning too like the fae

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  20. Great honest review Miss B. I like to connect with the lead characters too, but I can totally still dig a book if the rest is flowing.

    OK a power. Hmmm I kinda like what you said in comments about touching a book and retaining it all. OO I could do with that at the moment. I am getting old, people!! Sooo much to still read :D

    Mich

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  21. The power to be invisible.... That would be my pick

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