Giveaways


Coming soon...

August 29, 2014

Loved It: Wickedly Dangerous by Deborah Blake + Fun Facts

Series: Baba Yaga 1
Format: ARC
Release Date: September 2, 2014 
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them…

Older than she looks and powerful beyond measure, Barbara Yager no longer has much in common with the mortal life she left behind long ago. Posing as an herbalist and researcher, she travels the country with her faithful (mostly) dragon-turned-dog in an enchanted Airstream, fulfilling her duties as a Baba Yaga and avoiding any possibility of human attachment.

But when she is summoned to find a missing child, Barbara suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and an unexpected attraction to the charming but frustrating Sheriff Liam McClellan.

Now, as Barbara fights both human enemies and Otherworld creatures to save the lives of three innocent children, she discovers that her most difficult battle may be with her own heart.





I had wicked good time reading Deborah Blake's WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, the first book of her brand new UF series, Baba Yaga. It was fresh, funny, and very entertaining, I certainly took my time reading this one and I can't wait to read more of Baba Yaga. Barbara Yager, one of three Baba Yaga's, launches the series and it'll be tough to top her book. 

WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is fae influenced with missing children abducted into the Otherworld to keep fae company. One of the human parents summoned Barbara to help them find the kids and it took some time to peel the layers of deceit and wade through the distractions as Barbara's nemesis was cunning and quite the actress. It was eventually resolved in the fae Court with the proper rewards and punishments rendered to the deserving parties. Of course there's HEA too, it won't be a fairy tale without it right? 

I love the plot and pace of WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, its character driven and the world building woven through Barbara's reminiscing, interactions with other characters, and conflict and resolution. Also DBlake didn't make things too complicated, she kept it light and familiar (the fae court was like Wonderland slash A Midsummer Night's Dream). Now I am not well versed in the original lore about Baba Yaga so I can't attest to the myth's authenticity but I did enjoy DBlake's version of it. Although Barbara can turn herself into a crone, she's far from the surly, scary, and mischievous witch I expected her to be. 

WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is romantically light, it was more of an insta-crush for Sheriff Liam McClellan and Barbara than anything. There was a lot of flirting between the two but as they were so intent in the case, they didn't really make time for anything naughty. I actually like this better as it's more believable IMO as opposed to the usual PNR where the world is falling, the heroes are semi-functional and yet they have the time and energy to squeeze a few quckies in. Liam and Barbara kept things PG and I found their flirting cute, Barbara lays it heavy when she wants to while Liam is kinda awkward in the dating department which I found endearing. 

Now I almost forgot to mention Chudo-Yudo, the dog who is sometimes a dragon. Adorable might not be applicable for this huge pitbull but I have no other words to describe him. I am loving this trend in books where pets are secondary characters too, here's to hoping that the next Baba Yaga books will have endearing familiars too.

My beef lies in the conflict resolution, it felt too "happily ever after" for me, so convenient and tied nice and pretty. I find it a little inconsistent with the overall edgy tone and feel of WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, I was hoping for a Grimm Brothers ending than a Disney one. And though it's expected that Barbara and Liam will be a couple, I was also hoping for a bit more, it felt like their HEA was fast tracked a few steps were skipped. 

Despite these small critiques, like I said I had a blast with WICKEDLY DANGEROUS. This brand new PNR series is promising and fascinating and I'm already excited for the next Baba Yaga adventure.




Top 5 Fun Facts about Baba Yaga


FUN FACT 1: Like the witches of other cultures, Baba Yaga’s preferred method of transportation is an implement commonly used for household labor, though unlike the witches of the West, who travel upon a broom, she chooses to ride in a mortar, steering it with a pestle, and using a broom to sweep away the tracks that she leaves.

(In WICKEDLY DANGEROUS, her mortar and pestle have been transformed into a classic BMW—much more practical for the 21st century.)


FUN FACT 2: Baba Yaga lives deep in the forest in a hut with a personality of its own. It can move around because it is up on giant chicken legs. If you come upon Baba Yaga's hut in the forest, you'll likely just see the back side of it. If you try to walk to the front and aren't paying attention - if you look away for just a second or blink - the chicken legs will have again turned the backside of the hut toward you. The hut does not reveal its door until it is told a magical phrase: "Turn your back to the forest, and your front to me."

(Barbara’s hut now looks like an Airstream trailer, but it definitely has a personality, and sometimes makes the front door disappear, just for kicks.)


FUN FACT 3: Baba Yaga is sometimes shown as an antagonist, and sometimes as a source of guidance; there are stories in which she helps people with their quests, and stories in which she kidnaps children and threatens to eat them. Seeking out her aid is usually portrayed as a dangerous act. It is said she ages one year every time she is asked a question, which may explain her reluctance to help. This effect, however, can be reversed with a special blend of tea made with blue roses.

(Barbara doesn’t like to answer questions, but that’s mostly because she finds them annoying. Her coffeemaker magically infuses everything it makes—which isn’t always coffee, even if that’s what she wants to drink—with the essence of blue roses.)


FUN FACT 4: Baba Yaga rules over the elements. Her faithful servants are the White Horseman, the Red Horseman, and the Black Horseman. When she is asked who these mysterious horsemen are, she replies: “My Bright Dawn, my Red Sun, and my Dark Midnight.”

(You will meet the three riders in both the first and second Baba Yaga books. They won’t be what you expect. You might want to bring beer.)


FUN FACT 5: Baba Yaga has a fire-breathing dragon named Chudo-Yudo as her pet, who helps her to guard the Water of Life and Death.

(Chudo-Yudo isn’t exactly a pet, but he does guard the precious Water of Life and Death. The Chudo-Yudo in WICKEDLY DANGEROUS is disguised as a huge white pit bull. He hardly ever eats anyone these days…that we know of.)




Author of seven non-fiction books from Llewellyn. Circle, Coven & Grove: A Year of Magickal Practice (2007), Everyday Witch A to Z (2008), The Goddess is in the Details (2009), Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (2010) Witchcraft on a Shoestring (2010), Everyday Witch Book of Rituals, and The Witch's Broom. I am also the author of the Baba Yaga series from Berkley Romance, including Wickedly Magical (novella), Wickedly Dangerous, and Wickedly Wonderful.

I live in a 120 year old farmhouse in upstate NY with five cats, and run an artists' cooperative shop when I'm not writing.

Stalk Deborah
Website | Facebook | @deborahblake | Goodreads







69 comments:

  1. Only looking a little. Just a little! I'm reading this one right now and loving it too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! So glad you're enjoying it :-)

      Delete
    2. Happy to hear that! Let me know if you end up hating the villain too :D

      Delete
  2. Ooooooooh YEAH! A new Urban Fantasy Series! I"ll definitely check it out! =))))

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is definitely worth checking out. I like the sound of the world she built. I love that two of the main characters don't just hop into bed right away. Thanks to your review, I will be adding this to my buy list.

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree--it's nice to see a little realistic build up sometimes. And I think you'll enjoy the world. Or worlds, I should say :-)

      Delete
    2. So true! We are so used to these insta thingies that it's nice to read something where they slow it down for a change.

      Delete
  4. A dog who is a sometimes dragon? Love it!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically, I am a dragon who is sometimes a dog.
      Love,
      Chudo-Yudo

      Delete
    2. Yeah, what Chudo-Yudo said :P

      Delete
  5. The light romance and good time reading sounds great !

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh, wow I love the new layout! And I love the the cover of this one (it's actually almost like it was made for your blog ;) Same color palette and awesomeness and all that!) This one sounds interesting and I'm glad it garnered 4 stars. But I don't think I've read something from a Russian retelling though, so that's something!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something new to enjoy :-) And I love the cover too--they did a great job bringing Barbara to life, and Chudo-Yudo is gorgeous.

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah, you haven't been here lately, welcome back!!

      And yes, totally loved this one and yes, Wickedly Dangerous is made for me... AND YOU!

      Delete
  7. Books with Fae don't always work for me, but the fact she kept this from being to complicated works for me. Love the idea of a dog-sometimes-dragon. Fun! Great review, Braine. Glad you loved this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a lot more going on in the "normal" (ha!) world than in the Fae world, and the magic tends to be more subtle. And yes, Chudo-Yudo is everyone's favorite character :-)

      Delete
    2. Yeah, the fae is more of like the base than foundation. Just something to root the Baba Yaga lore.

      Delete
  8. Cool facts! I have never read a story about her before

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's actually quite fascinating, with a lot more depth than your typical fairy tale character, which is one of the things that made me want to write about her :-)

      Delete
    2. Me too, the only Baba Yaga story I've heard of was the one at Lost Girl and this is definitely not like that. Barbara is a good and gorgeous "crone"

      Delete
  9. A HEA seems kinda weird in book 1 of an UF... I was originally planning on reading this series, but two of my blogging peeps told me to steer clear of Baba Yaga, and now you say otherwise. The guest post was a fun read, and I do love dragons, so you've left me with quite the dilemma, Braine! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carmel,
      First of all, Berkley is marketing this as a paranormal romance, not an urban fantasy (it's not urban, for one thing). And even though it is a series, each book features its own Baba Yaga, which allowed me to give each one a HEA in her book. I don't know about you, but I love a HEA--there are just too few of them in the real world. I hope you'll give Wickedly Dangerous a try!

      Delete
    2. Ladies - Sorry about the confusion re: genre, because it's so light in romance it didn't really feel PNR so I tagged it UF. Ha! Oh well, the proper corrections will be made.

      Still, give it a go!

      Delete
    3. Honestly, it has elements of both. I call it a modern fairy tale, but of course, that's not an official genre :-) Call it anything you want...as long as you enjoy reading it!

      Delete
  10. That summary…..whaaaa???? This sounds sort of crazy yet fun lol

    The romance sounds perfect though.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks for having me here and talking about Wickedly Dangerous, Braine! I loved the questions :-)

    Do drop by and say hello on my blog--I'd love to have you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for helping me moderate... on way to your blog now :)

      Delete
    2. Hey--you're the moderator..I'm just here to say hi :-)

      Delete
  12. I skipped your review because I bought the book and I'm glad to see you liked it because I was so anxious mainly when I saw that Jessica was mixed about the prequel. Now I can't wait!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read the prequel. This one is good though, I hope you like it

      Delete
  13. I just peeked to see if you liked it, Braine, and to read those cool fun facts. I've got this one up for a read this weekend. Sounds fabulously fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

      Delete
  14. I like the sound of this one! I love me some UF. I like the 'hut' . Awesome. I haven't read any fae UF for a while so , I may check this one out. Love the series title too. Very original. A very informative posting. Makes me wanna read it now :D

    Mich

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently it's PNR although it's so light in the romance department I wouldn't necessarily call it paranormal romance. Oh well, I guess this is a halfie

      Delete
    2. It's an urban fantasy disguised as a paranormal romance. Or vice versa. Sort of like the dragon-dog :-)

      Delete
  15. sounds fun and quirky and I like that. I love stories with a fairy tale aspect to it. I'm adding this to my wishlist. I need a good paranormal to try :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes you do. We all do :)

      Delete
    2. Yes! Try it! You know you want to... LOL

      Delete
  16. I can't get enough UF and Fae right now so thanks for such for this wonderful recommendation! Great review, Braine. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a lot of fun, Braine, with all the great UF elements included. And using a new myth along with the fae has me intrigued. I'll be sure to check out this one!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Okay, I am DEFINITELY check this book out. And the chick on the cover is hot. lol.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This sounds like a fun and entertaining read! I love smexy as much as the next girl but if the story's good I don't need romance, as long as there is the possibility of a future romance..LOL I'm always looking for new books featuring fae so I'll be adding this one to my TBR, great review Braine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Romance is not a requirement for me, a good plot and execution is. Thanks, Lori!

      Delete
  20. Haven't gotten around to buying this one yet, but it's on my radar and TBR ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Damn how did I miss this, I am on their review list and this sounds kick-ass!

    ReplyDelete
  22. A dog that's sometimes a dragon? Sold!

    ReplyDelete
  23. This UF actually sounds like a lot of fun, best name for a dog ever lol! I like the sound of the romance, it sounds like it's been developed really well and it doesn't go straight to saucy from the beginning. Lovely review Braine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need a break from the sexy sauce once in a while

      Delete
  24. I love a good relation build up, that's one of the reasons The Fever and Kate Daniels are among my favorites. This sounds really good Briane, thanks for sharing with us :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too... I can't say it's the same thing here but the plot made up for the fast tracked relationship

      Delete
  25. This sounds like a fun read nad that the world was built well. I like how well the relationship was built between Barbara and the Sherriff... and dog that can turn into a dragon.. awesome!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    ReplyDelete
  26. Apart from the perfect ending this books sounds "wickedly" good. Another one the goes to my never ending TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sigh, as long as we can read, that TBR is never going down

      Delete
    2. I refuse to discuss my TBR pile. Hope you all like the book!

      Delete

My reviews are subjective & does not reflect that of Talk Supe's followers.

Also I LOVE commenting back so if you're checking out a post, leave a line or two and I promise to visit your blog back. Let's feed each other's blogger soul!