The first review of Crystal and Wand is in! 

And I couldn’t be more pleased. 

From Pure Jonel, on Goodreads: 

Ridgewood returns to her Talbot Trilogy with the same flash and flair that we’ve come to know from the series. Her action packed and larger than life scenes came to life before my eyes. The intricate narrative creates a unique and one of a kind feel while the plot kept me on my toes. At the same time, Ridgewood does a fantastic job of jogging your memory with respect to past events, but never rehashing past novels.

I loved coming back to these characters that I`m getting to know so well. I love some and have a love/hate relationship with others. The unique dynamics combined with everyone’s one of a kind, in your face personalities creates a cast that readers won’t soon forget.

This exciting conclusion to Ridgewood’s trilogy definitely kept me hooked. I love how she wrapped everything up nicely, without presenting readers with a pretty little bow. The sense of continuity was great. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.

Thank you so, so much for the positive feedback, Jonel! I sincerely appreciate it, and I’m extremely happy you enjoyed my book. 

You can find out what all the fuss is for by visiting my publisher, Melange Books, or finding the Talbot Trilogy on Amazon, in Chapters, B&N, Smashwords, or Lulu. 

  

Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy — Playlist!

Similar in structure to Wind and Shadow, the story in Blood and Fire takes place over three days in mid-November. Sometimes, while I was writing or rereading, I was thinking of particular songs in the background of the scenes. Although I’ve lost my original list, the songs I’ve picked out below are those that best fit the movement of the plot and development of the characters. It was tempting to copy songs I used in the playlist for the first book, but that would be cheating . . .

However . . .

Given that I am still mad about losing my first list, this one still open to interpretation and change. It stands for now, and may be adapted further over the next few days (or weeks, or, you know . . . whenever).

I hope you enjoy!

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Shadows: The Talbot Trilogy Playlist 2

Prologue:

Enya, “Orinoco Flow”

Neverending White Lights, “Theme from The Blood and the Life Eternal”

November 17

Chapter 1:

U2, “Mysterious Ways”

Chapter 2:

Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Christmastime is Here (Instrumental)”

Dominica, “Luxury”

Taylor Swift, “Safe and Sound”

Chapter 3:

Taylor Swift, “Safe and Sound”

Muse, “Unnatural Selection”

Three Days Grace, “Animal I Have Become”

Chapter 4:

Barenaked Ladies & Sarah McLachlan, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

Motley Crue, “Home Sweet Home”

Chapter 5:

Remik’s Cube, “Opportunity”

Linkin Park, “Points of Authority”

Nelly, “Hot In Here”

Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

Chapter 6:

Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”

Tove Lo, “Talking Body”

Pitbull, “Feel This Moment (feat. Christina Aguilera)” or Daft Punk, “Get Lucky (feat. Pharrell Williams)”

Rupert Holmes, “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”

Avicii, “Hey Brother”

Chapter 7:

Black Lab, “Learn to Crawl”

Black Eyed Peas, “Let’s Get It Started”

Rick Howland, “Parallel Lives”

November 18

Chapter 8:

Broken Bells, “The High Road”

Classified, “3 Foot Tall”

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, “White Rabbit”

Rick Howland, “Two Doctors”

Chapter 9:

Jenn Grant, “Parachutes”

Muse, “Resistance”

Chapter 10:

The Kinks, “A Well Respected Man”

George Thorogood & The Destroyers, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”

Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Chapter 11:

Florence + The Machine, “Kiss With a Fist”

Reilly, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” or Celine Dion, “I Drove All Night”

Reilly, “Good King Wenceslas”

Chapter 12:

The Doors, “Strange Days”

Kardinal Offishall, “Numba 1 (Tide Is High)” or My Chemical Romance, “Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)”

Chapter 13:

Gerard McMann, “Cry Little Sister”

Chapter 14:

Tim Cappello, “I Still Believe”

Chapter 15:

Lou Gramm, “Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)”

Paramore, “Monster”

Chapter 16:

Nickelback, “Burn It to the Ground”

Chapter 17:

Queen, “We Will Rock You”

Spoon, “Got Nuffin”

November 19

Chapter 18:

Miranda Lambert, “Run Daddy Run (feat. Pistol Annies)”

Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun”

Plain White T’s, “Welcome to Mystery” or Three Days Grace, “Never Too Late”

Chapter 19:

Three Days Grace, “Never Too Late”

The Calling, “Wherever You Will Go” or Demi Lovato, “Warrior”

Chapter 20:

Crooked Fingers, “Luisa Bones”

Chapter 21:

Maroon 5, “Come Away to the Water” (feat. Rozzi Crane)

Epilogue:

Sarah McLachlan, “Song for a Winter’s Night”

5th Anniversary of Blogging!

First, thank you so much to the 150 individuals who are now following me on Romance and Other Dangers — I sincerely appreciate that you’re here. Hope to keep things fresh and interesting for you as my 365 Days of Blogging project continues!

And — WOW — 150 followers?! (happy dance)

And second, I have discovered the active links for Crystal and Wand: Book 3 of the Talbot Trilogy! It’s always so exciting to see one’s work out there in the world . . .

Here’s what the latest paranormal romance / urban fantasy is about. Be warned! It’s gritty, sexy, poignant, and highly satisfying:

Lovers reunite, and are torn apart. Bloodthirsty fiends battle for control of an army of the undead. With the community of Talbot frozen under layers of ice and snow, the domination of the vampire coven seems certain, but in the eye of the storm, the witches and the vampire hunters search desperately for the means to bring an end to the violence that threatens to take over more than one small, sleepy town. Will Rayvin and Charlotte be able to work together, combining their skills in magick, to prevent the loss of more innocent lives?

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While the novel isn’t yet available for Kobo (Chapters-Indigo), the first two books and prequel novella most definitely are:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/mist-and-midnight

Wind and Shadow (Talbot Series #1)

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/blood-and-fire-10

And the series is available for Nook (Barnes and Noble):

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crystal-and-wand-tori-l-ridgewood/1122295880?ean=2940152028843

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-and-fire-tori-l-ridgewood/1118482049?ean=9781612358109

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-and-shadow-tori-l-ridgewood/1116138235?ean=9781612356396

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mist-and-midnight-tori-l-ridgewood/1118892948?ean=2940149783748

Plus, of course, you can find the books on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Crystal-Wand-Talbot-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B011KCDLZW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1437965485&sr=8-2&keywords=tori+l+ridgewood

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Fire-Talbot-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00IDNJ7U0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1437965485&sr=8-5&keywords=tori+l+ridgewood

http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Shadow-Talbot-Trilogy-Book/dp/1612356397/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1437965485&sr=8-4&keywords=tori+l+ridgewood

http://www.amazon.com/Mist-Midnight-Talbot-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00HQA3MKC/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1437965485&sr=8-6&keywords=tori+l+ridgewood

And at Melange Books:

http://melange-books.com/authors/torilridgewood/crystalwand.html

Still working on a release party, but feeling rather gobsmacked today after all of the travel this past week. Definitely missing the lake, but starting to feel more in the swing of things again. Slowly.

So thank you again to everyone who has stepped onto the Tori Train (so to speak) — I hope that you will continue to enjoy my rants, reflections, poems, and essays!

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Crystal and Wand is coming this spring — want a taste?

You’re invited to sink your teeth (or fangs) into this selection from my upcoming novel, the third and final instalment in the Talbot Trilogy, a paranormal romance / urban fantasy that’s not for the faint of heart.  

First, the blurb . . .

Lovers reunite, and are torn apart. Bloodthirsty fiends battle for control of an army of the undead. With the community of Talbot frozen under layers of ice and snow, the domination of the vampire coven seems certain, but in the eye of the storm, the witches and the vampire hunters search desperately for the means to bring an end to the violence that threatens to take over more than one small, sleepy town. Will Rayvin and Charlotte be able to work together, combining their skills in magick, to prevent the loss of more innocent lives? 

And now, the excerpt:

He swiveled her stretcher around and rolled her into another room nearby, connected by a sliding door. Here, she saw a massive bed covered in white silk sheets, fur rugs and tables covered with candles. There was even a mirror on the ceiling. She recoiled, tugging feverishly and uselessly against her bonds.

Instead of taking her to the bed as she feared, he pulled again to the right, and stopped her in front of a bank of six small flatscreen TVs. The views changed every ten seconds or so, until he tapped a few keys on a small black keyboard. Then, each TV focused on the hospital lobby, where Grant and Malcolm sat glaring at each other below the hidden camera.

“I have eyes and ears all over this hospital, Rayvin,” he told her seriously. “I knew you were here the minute you showed up. I honestly kept expecting Grant to figure it out and come charging down here, but guess what? The wolf-man’s got a stuffy nose!” Jason snorted and pressed another few buttons.

The lower right flatscreen changed to a time-stamped view of the lobby, reversing its recording until Charlotte, Marcy, and Siobhan were walking backward into the room and facing the men. Here, Jason paused the video. He drew up a black leather office chair and sat in it, his arms folded.

“Where do you suppose they were going, Ray?” He mused, tilting his head back and forth. “You don’t think Malcolm de Sade, the dethroned and disillusioned, spilled a little secret to your band of allies, do you? Something about the Talbot Classic Theatre?”

Rayvin pulled so hard at one of the cuffs that she felt her skin chafing under its padding.

“I don’t know why you all think I’m so stupid. I know, Rayvin. I know about the vampire hunters from that stupidly named Society. S.H.I.P.—really? That makes no sense at all.” He got up and walked around the viewing screens. She heard a refrigerator door open, and when he came back around, he was sucking on a bag of plasma like it was a slushie.

Her stomach clamped at the sight, which made a little more of her own blood leak out and the after-pains surge once more.

“You’re really very tempting, you know. The smell of fresh blood is driving me nuts. You don’t mind if I eat in front of you, right?” He flopped back into his chair, clicking buttons again. The camera zoomed into the women’s faces, frozen on the screen. “You’re now wondering how I know about all this. Don’t worry, in a few minutes you’ll find out. I have a very reliable source.”

“So they’re walking into a trap, aren’t they?” Rayvin found her voice at last. “The Classic. You have people waiting for them there, don’t you?” It was really more of a statement than a question, but Jason nodded slowly in answer, still sucking on his snack.

She wanted to tell him something brave. She wanted to defy him, announcing that Marcy, Siobhan, and Charlotte wouldn’t fall for it, that they’d sense their enemies before the trap was sprung. Grant would sense her peril at any moment and come to her rescue. But the words dried up in her throat, and her eyes welled with tears. She turned her face away, willing herself to get back in control.

“Okay, I think that’s it.”

She heard Jason toss the empty plastic bag into a wastebasket. He turned her stretcher once more, so quickly it made her dizzy again, and pushed her back past the fish tank and his nurse shark, all the way to the hallway.

“I’m tired, Rayvin. You’ve got me up past my bedtime. I interrupted my sleep to play host for you, but I need to go back to dreamland for a bit. Thank god for the short days of winter, eh?” He chuckled, whisking her down another hallway. This one was lined with cinderblocks and unpainted wooden and steel doors. “I’ve watched enough movies to know what mistakes to avoid as the villain, but at the same time, I understand why the dastardly fiend needs to draw out the moment rather than ending it quickly. There’s so much pleasure in just relishing satisfaction, you know? So I’ve got my cameras ready, because I’m really exhausted and I can’t keep my eyes open much longer.”

He brought her to a stop next to a door marked “Boiler Room”.

And then he pulled a knife out of his pocket.

“It’s been more than ten years, Rayvin, since you paralyzed me and left me to rot in my chair.” Jason leaned over until his face was even with hers. He whipped off his patch to let her see the whole of his ruined eye. “And a couple of weeks ago, your boyfriend maimed me for the remainder of my after-life. So I’m thinking Code of Hammurabi. Remember, from Intro to Law?”

He shifted her body with one hand, reached under the blankets with his knife, and forced it deeply into her lower back. She shuddered and shrieked, the pain in her womb eclipsed by the agony of her muscles and tissue shredding. He sawed back and forth, cutting at her spine. She arched her back, trying to get away, screaming.

Something inside her gave way, snapping apart, and then for the second time in four hours, she blacked out.

———————

Want to know more about the Talbot Trilogy? Follow the links below!


MistMidnightThe prequel novella: Mist and Midnight 
 Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters, B&N

Stalked by a cruel and relentless vampire, Charlotte is on the run. Fleeing the city, the powers of magick her only protection, she couldn’t afford to fall for the hot modern prospector Pike Mahonen. Can she avoid temptation in a small town, to keep them both safe?

WindAndShadowBook One: Wind and Shadow — Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters, B&N

Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn’t count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot…or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.

Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger…but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it’s too late?

Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambitionon a small, sleepy town…

BloodFireBook Two: Blood and Fire — Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, Chapters, B&N

What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering… The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?

Stay tuned for the Book Three: Crystal and Wand cover reveal, release date, launch party, and celebratory giveaways!

“You’ve got the LOOK” — I’m IT!

I’ve been tagged in a blogging game by the magnificent Su Halfwerk!
http://suhalfwerk.blogspot.ca/2012/11/ive-been-tagged-ive-got-look.html?showComment=1353550209651

The concept of this game is to take one’s latest work in progress or current manuscript and search for the word “look”, then post some of the surrounding text/paragraphs and tag 5 authors.
(and yes, that fabulous 80s song is on a looping track inside my head right now)

I’m going to post an excerpt from my current WIP, Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy.

In Blood and Fire, a good witch named Rayvin Woods has found herself trapped in a dangerous situation as a concubine/hostage of the malicious, perverted, ruthless vampire Malcolm de Sade. Having encountered him already in Book 1: Wind and Shadow, and been unable to break his hold over the vampires who were once good townsfolk, Rayvin is trying desperately to find a way to destroy him. She has more than one problem to deal with, though: she may also be mother to a witch-vampire hybrid. She believes herself to be on her own to deal with the growing coven of undead creatures, unable to escape the isolated Northeastern Ontario town — little knowing that help is on the way, in the form of the good witch Charlotte Fanning Mahonen and her husband Pike (“Mist and Midnight”, Midnight Thirsts, 2011), two experienced vampire hunters (wood-nymph Marcy Richmond and gargoyle Siobhan O’Connell), and her lover, Grant Michaels, whose unexpected survival at the end of Book One: Wind and Shadow resulted in an important transformation. Rayvin’s conflicts are many, but she’s tough, and refuses to give in even when survival seems impossible.

Here’s the excerpt, featuring LOOK:

“Go on and take your shower, Rocky,” Marcy muttered her pet name for her girlfriend, after one more delicious squeeze. “I’m just the sensitive wood nymph. Bend, don’t break, and all that.”
“I really am sorry, Em.” The blue in Siobhan’s eyes deepened, reminding Marcy of the sky at sunset. “Forgive me?”
“Yes.” Marcy cupped the blonde’s velvety chin between her own slender brown hands. “And I love you. Go on, take your shower first. I need to check in with S.H.I.P. and Dad, anyway.”
Her routine was predictable, which was really somewhat dangerous in their field, but Marcy knew it helped Siobhan to cope with the nightmarish memories that came with the job. Five minutes to pick and complain, then a shower, then lounging pyjamas and an instant cappuccino while they went over their next move and filed the latest report. She would then touch up her French manicure, buff her feet, wax wherever a stray hair had dared to appear, and then disappear under the down quilt stuffed into a plastic bag. Unless there was an emergency, she wouldn’t emerge again until it was time for her workout in the morning.
Whenever it was safe, or time allowed, it was Marcy’s pleasure to slip into her 300-count cotton nest for a few sessions of passionate, energetic, and/or tender love-making.
Her body warmed at the thought that tonight, the probability of sex was looking better and better by the moment. From the look Siobhan gave her as she closed the door, her lover agreed.
But first, she had to take care of their professional obligations.
Marcy was full aware that there were some individuals in the Society of Investigators and Hunters of the Paranormal who were doubtful of the practicality of their partnership. Never before, in the history of their peoples or in the records of the Society, had wood and stone formed a working pair like theirs. Maybe the prejudice was understandable, on that basis, but it still burned.
If they could only track down and destroy Malcolm de Sade, the vampire on the top of S.H.I.P.’s most-wanted list, the nay-sayers would have to eat their words.
The Society’s best hunters had been on the creature’s trail for two centuries, but he had always evaded them somehow. He was smart, quick, ruthless, and a loner. Two years ago, he’d vanished from Toronto just when two teams had been ready to move. By the reports Marcy had read, they had delayed by thirty minutes, making sure everything was ready. It had been thirty minutes too long, at the least.
Tired of being given token assignments and pats on the head, Marcy and Siobhan had borrowed a copy of the de Sade file and gone off on their own, following the crumbs that other, more senior Society members had dismissed as unlikely or unimportant.
“Your people are starting to slack, Bill,” Marcy murmured, looking at his signature on a report two decades old. “Isn’t that our motto, not leaving any stone unturned in the search for truth and elimination of threats?”
It seemed that ever since the Society had acquired their living vampire specimen two years earlier, all efforts had turned inward. Scientists and hunters were burning the candle at both ends, using their specimen to test new detection technology and micro-biological weapons, at the expense of real hunting. Marcy didn’t understand it. What was the use of making a new weapon if the enemy was breeding, unchecked?
The response to her query on the organization’s recent withdrawal from field work had been brusque, to say the least. “If you think you can do better than those with experience, by all means. But you won’t find a vampire who’s gone to ground, especially one without a coven like de Sade.”
Marcy ground her teeth at the memory.
“But waiting for him to surface — for any of them — is like asking innocent people to be bait!” Her temper had risen enough that she’d given into shouting. “We have to keep looking! It’s not fair–”
“Life isn’t fair.” The squat, overweight bureaucrat behind his polished oak desk had steepled his fingers, pressed them to his nose, and looked over them at her as if she were a bug in a petrie dish. “The board of governors has decided that the best use of our efforts at the moment is to find a rapid and convenient solution for all vampires. Tracking and killing one or a few at a time is no longer good enough, not now that we have a specimen to use for tests. There will be some losses, yes–”
“Collateral damage, you mean,” Marcy spat.
“–but in the end, it will be worth the sacrifice.” The fat, balding ass had leaned forward at that point and flicked the thick de Sade folder in her direction. “As I said, you’re welcome to go with your gargoyle partner and try. The trail is cold, and under the current climate, I can’t offer you more than token support…”
Marcy had taken the file and left without speaking. It had not been worth her job to unleash the torrent of insults building inside her. At least, not then.
It could wait until she had de Sade’s ashes in a sample bag.

***

Watch out for Wind and Shadow, Book One of the Talbot Trilogy, coming April 2013!

And now for my five tagged authors!

Tara Fox Hall: http://www.tarafoxhall.com/tarafoxhall.com/Tara_Fox_Hall.html

David Margetson: http://orangepearwritings.blogspot.ca

Robert Fuller: http://www.robertfullerauthor.com

Mysti Parker: http://mystiparker.blogspot.ca

Maya DeLeina: http://www.mayadeleina.net