Thursday, November 8, 2018

Charley Davidson Re-Read Tour: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones (@Darynda, @StMartinsPress, @SMPRomance)

After you're done here, check out post two of the day: My early review of Thirteenth Grave

Summoned to Thirteenth Grave
Charley Davidson #13
Buy Link
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson is back in the final installment of Darynda Jones’ New York Times bestselling paranormal series!

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper extraordinaire, is pissed. She’s been kicked off the earthly plain for eternity – which is the appropriate amount of time to make a person starkraving mad. But someone’s looking out for her, and she’s allowed to return after a mere hundred years in exile. Is it too much to hope for that not much has changed? Apparently it is. Bummer.

She’s missed Reyes and her daughter, Beep, but now that she’s back on earth, it’s time to put to rest burning questions that need answers. What happened to her mother? How did she really die? Who killed her? And are cupcakes or coffee the best medicine? It all comes to a head in an epic showdown between good and evil in this final smart and hilarious novel.

What, pray tell, the fuck?
It wasn’t until I felt the sun on my face that I knew, really knew, I’d made it back. The bright orb drifted over the horizon like a hot air balloon, blinding me, yet I couldn’t stop looking at it. Or, well, trying to look at it. After giving it my all through squinted lids, I gave up and closed them. Let the warmth wash over me. Let it sink into my skin. Flood every molecule in my body.
God knew I needed it. I hadn’t had a drop of vitamin D in over a hun- dred years. My bones were probably brittle and shriveled and splintery. Much like the current state of my psyche.
But that’s what happens when you defy a god.
Not just any god, mind you. No siree Bob. To get booted off the big blue marble, one had to defy the God. The very One a particular set of children’s books called Jehovahn.
The Man had some serious control issues. I bring one person back from the dead and bam. Banished for all eternity. Exiled to a hell with no light, no hair products, and no coffee.
Mostly no coffee.
And, just to throw salt onto a gaping, throbbing flesh wound, no tribe. In this dimension, the one with the yellow sun and champagne-colored sand on which I now walked, I had a husband and a daughter and more friends than I could shake a stick at. But in the lightless realm I’d been banished to, I’d had nothing. I floated in darkness for over one hundred agonizing years, tormented by dreams of a husband I could no longer
touch and a daughter I could no longer protect.
She would be gone by now. Our daughter. I will have missed her en- tire life. The thought alone shattered me. Cut into me like shards of glass every time I breathed.
But I’d missed more than her life. It had been prophesied that she would face Lucifer in a great battle for humanity. That she would have an army at her back and, fingers crossed, a warrior at her side. And that she would stand against evil when no one else could.
I’d wondered for dozens of years if she’d won, the pain of not know- ing, of not being able to help, driving me to the brink of insanity. Then I realized something and a peculiar kind of peace came over me. Of course she’d won. She was the daughter of two gods. More to the point, she was her father’s daughter, the god Rey’azikeen’s only child. She would’ve been wily and cunning and strong. Of course she won.
That’s what I’d told myself over and over for the last thirty-odd years of my exile. But now I was back. An exile that was supposed to be for all eternity stopped just short, in my humble opinion, of its goal.
Unfortunately, I had no idea why I was back. I’d felt myself being drawn forward, pulled through space and time until the darkness that sur- rounded me gave way to the unforgiving brightness of Earth’s yellow sun. That big, beautiful ball of fire I’d so often complained about as a resident of New Mexico, where sunshine was damned near a daily occurrence.
The horror!
And here it was, bathing me in its brilliance as my feet sank into dew-
covered sand with every step I took. I walked toward it. The sun. Crav- ing more. Begging for more.
“I will never complain about you again,” I said, tilting my face toward the heavens, because the thought of my daughter growing up without me wasn’t the only thing that had driven me to the edge of sanity. Nor the heartbreak of missing my husband. His hands on my body. His full mouth at my ear. His sparkling eyes hooded by impossibly thick lashes.
No, it was the perpetual darkness that pushed me so far inside myself I could hardly stay conscious.
I’d tried to escape. To find my way back to my family and friends. Boy, had I tried. But it seemed like the harder I struggled, the deeper I sank. The realm in which I’d been cast was like an inky, ethereal form of quick- sand. If not for the wraiths . . .
I stopped and bent my head to listen. Someone was following me, and for the first time since materializing on the earthly plane, I tried to take in my surroundings. With my vision adjusting, I could just make out the sea of peaches and golds that stretched out before me. Sand as far as the eye could see.
Then it hit me. The Sahara. I’d been here before. With him.
I started walking again, slowly, making him come to me as I used every ounce of strength I had to tamp down the elation coursing through my veins.
I’d dreamed about this moment for so long, a part of me wondered if it were real. Or if I were hallucinating. But I felt the warmth radiating from his body and I knew. Heat—his heat—pulsated over me in rich, fervent waves, stirring parts of me that hadn’t been stirred in decades. Or churned. Or even whisked, for that matter.
I dared a glance over my shoulder. My knees weakened and my stom- ach clenched at the sight. Dressed as a desert nomad in traditional, sky- blue garb, he followed at a leisurely pace. A light breeze pressed his robe against his body, outlining his wide shoulders, long arms, and lean waist.
A turban of the same sky blue had been wrapped around his head and face until only his eyes shone through.
Dark. Shimmering. Intent.
Like that could fool me. Like I wouldn’t know my husband from a thousand miles away. His essence. His aura. His scent.
Of course, the ever-present fire that licked over his skin, the lightning that arced around him, didn’t hurt.
He moved like an animal. A predator. Powerful and full of confidence and grace. Every step calculated. Every move a conscious act.
And he was closing in.
I turned back to the horizon, my heart bursting with the knowledge that my husband was still here. Still on Earth. Still sexy as fuck.
And yet, there was something not quite . . .
I whirled around to face him when I realized part of what I was feel- ing, part of the tangle of tightly packed emotions that made Reyes Reyes, was anger.
No. Not anger precisely. Anger would be far too tame a word. He was livid. Furious. Enraged. And it was all directed at me.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a Golden Heart and a RITA for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. A born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

Find Darynda and her books

Fun Fact about  First Grave on the Right:
 The concept for First Grave came about while Darynda was working as a sign language interpreter in her hometown. She stole many of the names from students at the schools where she worked, including Reyes, Garrett, and Amber. As far as Darynda knows, they have all forgiven her for her thievery.

First Grave on the Right
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: S. Martins Press
ISBN:   0312662750
ISBN13: 9780312662752
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Review Copy Source: Publisher

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.
Or a diagram of some kind.
A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

For the re-read tour in celebration of the release of SUMMONED TO THIRTEENTH GRAVE I chose to go back to the beginning with FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT.

FIRST GRAVE has just about everything you could ask for in a book. Mystery, suspense, action, romance, HUMOR... OMG you will laugh your behind off. I don't think I went a few pages without laughing in the entire book.

FIRST GRAVE is where I fell in love with Charley and the rest of her gang. Charley's personality ROCKS. She is witty, sassy, sarcastic and determined...with horrible luck, but I absolutely want her to be my BFF. Cookie has a lot of spunk. She knows Charlie like the back of her hand, keeps her somewhat in line and they complement each other just like best friends should. Reyes is dark, mysterious and sexy as can be. He has many secrets and it was fun to be a witness to Charley peeling back some of his layers. Their connection is something to be envy of.

The story kept my attention, so much so that I had a hard time putting it down. There wasn't one thing I would change about it. If you haven't started this series yet, you NEED to pick up your own copy of FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT and start your adventure with Charley Davidson.

I gave it 5/5 stars

* This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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  1. I'm currently binging the series and on book 9. I would say my favs are First grave on the right bc of its originality and then also 5th and 6th grave books

  2. waaaaah! The end of the series!! I have read and reread this series at least 10 times. Almost every time a new book is released. I don't have a fav book b/c I love them all equally :) thanks for the awesome spotlight!

  3. I'll go with The Curse on Tenth Grave as my favorite (among several others).


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