Catching an Evil Tail

Mary Abshire
Catching an Evil Tail
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Noble Romance Publishing
Release Date
February 2011
Book 2 of The Soul Catcher Series
Erotic Romance, Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

Half-demon Jessie Garrett wants to live a normal life among her friends and keep her soul catching ability a secret, but supernatural creatures keep popping up in her world. Adding to her struggles, her vampire lover remains out of the country, and when he offers no valuable explanation as to why he hasn't returned, she wonders if she should move on without him.

As if Jessie doesn't have enough worries on her mind, the demon yearning to seduce her shows up at her home. She longs to liberate herself from the debt she owes him, and when he asks for her help, she jumps at the chance to make a new deal with him—one that will guarantee her freedom. The only catch? She has to send the soul of a werewolf to hell.

Love, trust, and loyalty are on the line. Torn between her feelings for her vampire boyfriend, a hot Alpha wolf, and a demon vowing to protect her, Jessie must figure out her heart's true desires.

Book Review by Dee
Apr 03, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
151 people found the following review helpful
A soul-sucking half-demon was recruited to help a werewolf alpha deal with a serial killer, but will she be successful?

Jessie Garrett hides her ability to suck the souls of individuals she kills from her friends. Her vampire boyfriend, Drake, has gone overseas to deal with his ruling council, and her demon hockey player and sometimes former lover Jeremy has shared her secret with a pack of werewolves, who have requested her help to deal with a serial killer werewolf. What is a girl to do?

When I first requested this book, I didn't realize that it was a second in a series and by the time I realized that, I had already started reading it. It's always a tricky balance for an author to play, how much from a previous book should be discussed in new ones? Should there be a recap of former events, or just let the actions of the characters speak for themselves? Personally, while reading CATCHING AN EVIL TAIL, I felt a bit lost for the first third of the book and at one time, I even debated giving up and not finishing it. However, I stuck it out and around halfway through, it started improving and the story really came together.

One of the things that I always pay attention to when reading is the development of the characters and do I connect with them. Now, I know I can't exactly connect with a half-demon (although some of the guys I work with might debate that point on occasion), but with their personality. Do I sympathize with them when stuff goes wrong? Laugh with them at jokes? Etc.

I loved the character of Jeremy, he was such as badass and yet, you felt, or at least I did, that he really did like Jessie (or was doing more than just trying to get into her bed). Jessie was a difficult character to like, but towards the end, I enjoyed her sass and it felt like she came into her own (around the time that she met up with the werewolves). By the end of the book, Jessie was a kick-ass, no-holds barred heroine who didn't take flak from anyone, even after being attacked on multiple occasions.

The dialogue that occurred between her and Jeremy at times made me chuckle out loud – one scene that I enjoyed was Jessie getting herself drunk at the hotel one night. Jeremy to Jessie (after finding her drunk): "How did you get the bottles?" Jessie back to Jeremy: "I showed him my ass, and he sold them to me." And while Jeremy is trying to put her to bed after the drinking episode (Jessie to Jeremy): "Don't think you're sleeping with me. Hell will freeze over before I invite you into my bed." While I don't remember having word for word conversations like that, I remember having experienced roommates being drunk and some of the words that come out of their mouths were similar and as equally entertaining.

However, there was a veritable cacophony of paranormal creatures making their appearance throughout the book, including but not limited to Jessie (the main character and a half-demon); her boyfriend Drake, a Vampire; Jeremy, a full-blooded demon, ice hockey player and sometimes ex-lover, and the werewolf pack that she agrees to help. On top of that, there are two witches who live in the same complex, and her and her best friend, Dani (they didn't play a significant role in this novel, but it felt like the author was setting them up for later books); a new warlock at her place of work and her group of friends who are involved in ghost hunting. At times, it felt like the author had just gone through a dictionary of paranormal beings and decided to randomly add another one in. It will be interesting for me to go back and read the first book in the series and see if that helps me to understand any of the characters a bit more, because at times, it felt as though they were not fully fleshed out and were lacking a bit in description.

I would give the book 3 stars, in that it was an entertaining read, but it wasn't mind-blowing. However, I am going to seek out the previous book in the series and see if that changes my opinion of the overall world building in the series.
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Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jul 15, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
129 people found the following review helpful
For a half-demon who can consume the souls of the damned, the world can often be a confusing place. But for Jessie Garrett, who is already dealing with an absent vampire boyfriend and an all-too-present demon, the world is about to get much stranger still. Because Jeremy, the demon who is hell-bent to claim Jessie all for himself, has offered her services to a friend in Arizona; a friend who just happens to be a member of a pack of werewolves…

Arriving in Arizona, Jessie realizes that the politics of the pack are far more complicated than she had first assumed. Matthew, the man whose soul Jessie has been hired to send to hell, has challenged the pack's leader, Alan Vandett, for control of the pack, and Jessie was caught in the middle of the power struggle. The one person she trusts to protect her—her vampire lover, Drake, is in Europe, attempting to clear up the events of their last case together with VETOV (Vampires for the Ethical Treatment of Other Vampires) and seems too distant to call on for help. So when the world of the werewolves takes a turn for the deadly, it's every half-demon for herself…

For Jessie, however, the real problem is the fact that the two men in her life both seem willing to exploit her powers and reveal her secrets to those who could do her the most harm. Not only has Jeremy told his werewolf friends about Jessie's ability to send souls to Hell, but he has been keeping quite a number of secrets that could prove vital to Jessie's survival.

On top of this, Drake reveals that he has alerted VETOV to her existence and their hostile reaction to her powers—their souls are the only piece of their humanity that vampires still possess, and they are willing to go to any extremes to make sure that Jessie is not going to take theirs away. Though Drake promises that he is fighting to keep her safe, the fact that her fate is now in other hands than her own has Jessie panicking and furious. Can she trust that Drake's love is enough to hold back the wrath of VETOV?

I found this book to be even more engrossing than Claiming the Evil Dead. We get a great deal more information about the paranormal world of these characters, as well as fascinating insight into the nature of vampires and demons. Now that I understand the danger that vampires and demons (full demons, like Jeremy, specifically) pose each other, the perpetual stand-off between Jeremy and Drake makes much more sense outside of their feelings about Jessie. It also seemed like Jessie herself was coming into her own a bit more, and actively participating in the case she is working on, rather than relying on others as she did in the first book. It was also nice to see some more of her friends in this book, which helped to balance the love triangle (at times the love quadrangle) pretty effectively.

Drake, though admittedly a little dense at times, is still my favorite: intense, dark, passionate, and unconditionally devoted to Jessie. I wish I could say the exact same about her. Jessie is not the kind of woman to tie herself unconditionally to anyone without an enormous struggle, but the extent to which she was willing to…explore her options in Drake's absence worried me a little. She has a much harder time seeing what I can: that Drake is besotted with his half-demon and will go to any lengths for her happiness and safety (and he is forced to contend with both in this story). I hope that in the next book, Jessie can come to trust him fully so that their relationship can move forward. And that Drake stays home more often. Life is infinitely better when he is around…

About Jeremy, I'm still on the fence. I don't doubt his lust for Jessie, and I might even be convinced that his feelings run deeper than that. But Jessie herself comments that he is utterly unscrupulous and I haven't yet figured out what it is he is ultimately after. All of which means that I'll be driving into the third book in this trilogy as fast as I can in order to find out! What I do know is that Jessie has a very difficult choice on her hands, between two men who can both stir her darker passions, and each of whom has a very significant claim on her.

As was the case with Claiming the Evil Dead, the relationships in the book are the primary focus, but the plot was also quite interesting, especially for the chance it gave Jessie to develop as a character. I look forward to figuring out the secrets of some interesting foreshadowing in this book, and thanks to a few interesting twists and turns at the end of the book, I can only imagine that this is the springboard to even greater things for this series in the next installment!
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Interview by Dee and Laura

Mary, glad to have you with us this month at The Romance Reviews. We can't wait to learn more about this fascinating Soul Catcher series!

Q: You now have 3 books in this series. Before we delve deeper into CATCHING AN EVIL TAIL, tell us about your world and where you got the idea for this series.

I'd finished writing a vampire novel and I wanted to write something better, different, catchy. For several days, I thought and thought... what can I do that hasn't been done before? At least, not that I had read. I wanted a female who thought she was bad, but she really wasn't. A demon seemed like the perfect choice. I decided to make her half-demon because it leaves the door open for opportunities and struggles, internal and external. Then I considered what kind of unique gift she should have. I hadn't read any kind of book about someone catching souls or sending them to hell, so I thought my idea would work. A half-demon who sends souls to hell sounded different to me. I had to have a vampire in my book because I absolutely love vampires. But with so many out on the market, I decided to make my vampire a secondary character.

Q: Why did you populate it with so many paranormal creatures all in one world, such as witches, vampires, demon, werewolves, etc.?

I populated the world with different creatures because I didn't want to write solely about demons or vampires. I think it's good to have a variety. In my opinion, it adds a little flavor to the story. And just as there are good and bad humans, I created good and bad supernatural creatures. They live in a world with us, yet we humans don't really know they exist. I enjoy stories that involve a variety of creatures, but not too many to cause confusion.

Q: Is there an overall series arc? Could you give us a peek?

Truthfully, I want each book to have a different story, but the basic plot will always be Jessie sends a soul to hell. The soul could be from a vampire, werewolf, demon, witch, warlock, whatever, and something always gets in her way. Shit happens and relationships aren't perfect. It's the Soul Catcher series because she's the one struggling as she goes after evil souls. Do you know how many there are in the world? Turn on the television and watch the news, one of those crime investigation channels, or the History channel. Jessie's got a job for life!

Q: What is CATCHING AN EVIL TAIL, book 2 in the series, all about?

Half-demon Jessie Garrett wants to live a normal life among her friends and keep her soul catching ability a secret, but supernatural creatures keep popping up in her world. Adding to her struggles, her vampire lover remains out of the country, and when he offers no valuable explanation as to why he hasn't returned, she wonders if she should move on without him.

As if Jessie doesn't have enough worries on her mind, the demon yearning to seduce her shows up at her home. She longs to liberate herself from the debt she owes him, and when he asks for her help, she jumps at the chance to make a new deal with him—one that will guarantee her freedom. The only catch? She has to send the soul of a werewolf to hell.

Love, trust, and loyalty are on the line. Torn between her feelings for her vampire boyfriend, a hot Alpha wolf, and a demon vowing to protect her, Jessie must figure out her heart's true desires.

Q: While I've read many books featuring demons before, the idea of a soul sucking half-demon was unique to me. Where did you get your inspiration for developing the character of Jessie?

I like spunky female leads with a bit of humor. I thought of Buffy, the vampire slayer. Mac from KMM Fever series. Cat from Jeanine Frost's series. Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series. As for soul sucking, I wanted her to have a unique gift. She needed a way to send evil souls to hell and I thought the best way would be for her to act like a gateway. Since she has demon blood, she could do it.

Q: What makes her different from other UF heroines out there?

She's not fighting the world, or fighting to save the world like most heroines in UF stories. She's fighting to save herself most of the time and struggling to find her true self and her place in the world. Is she really damned to hell or not? While sending evil souls to hell is not a necessity, it does make the earth a safer place to live. (smile)

Q: What characteristics of Jessie do you see in yourself?

Being indecisive at times. Snappy temper. Wanting to do good.

Q: Tell us about sexy bad-ass demon Jeremy.

I think you already did--sexy bad-ass demon. LOL. He's a troublemaker or just honest, depending who you ask. He knows what he wants. His soul is ancient and he has a loving heart that yearns for one woman. He's a lot of fun to write about. I do like him very much.

Q: What makes Drake the vampire perfect for Jessie? What about Jeremy the demon?

Drake helps her bring out her inner beauty and show she isn't destined for hell. Jeremy brings out her worst. But isn't that what demons do? I love the conflict between Jessie and Jeremy. The last couple of days, I've been thinking of a story for them for book 5 or 6. I have two ideas, just not sure how to work them out yet.

Q: Which of your characters is the most difficult to write? Why?

When I started writing the series, I thought Drake was the most difficult. He's noble and good, which for some reason was difficult for me to show.

Q: Which is your favorite character? Why?

Jeremy and Alan. Jeremy is the bad boy. He's easier to write (not sure why--must be my twisted mind) and a lot of fun. Alan is the hot Alpha with class. He's smart, a gentleman, and oh so tempting.

Q: Would the werewolves be featured in later books? Could you give us a sneak peek into the roles they would play?

Yes, I have them in book 4. They act more as protectors. I can't say much more.

Q: There were many times when Jessie would get annoyed with Dani about sharing their secret and yet she didn't trust Dani with all the details. Is that going to play out in later books, or now that Dani knows, is their friendship going to be more normal (if it could ever be)?

Jessie just wasn't sure if Dani could handle the truth. Jessie had confessed her nature to her fiancé in college and he broke off the relationship. In a way, it scared her and that's why she hesitated to tell Dani. Since Jessie came out of the closet (hee hee), their friendship will be more normal now. Dani's into that paranormal stuff so she's more accepting of the truth.

Q: Will the readers be able to find out more about the witches from next door in later books? Or the Warlock at work? What roles would they play? Could you give us a sneak peek?

I didn't include the witches in book 4, but I'd like to use them in later books. That was why I put them in book 2. The Warlock at Jessie's work is briefly in book 3 and 4. He's more of a silent friend because he wants to keep his warlock status a secret, much like Jessie did in book 1.

Q: What's next in the series?

FIGHTING EVIL is out now. It's book 3 in the series and picks up where CATCHING AN EVIL TAIL left off. Jessie learns how to fight from Jeremy. Drake, Jessie, and Jeremy leave for Europe to face the VETOV. Naturally, they encounter trouble. Someone dear to her shows up in FIGHTING EVIL, but you'll have to read it to find out who. (smile)

Q: What's up for you in the coming months?

Well, it's difficult to say. I have nothing due to be published right now. I'm finishing edits on a UF novel and will submit it. Then I'll focus on editing book 4 in the Soul Catcher series and submit it. I haven't decided if I will write the sequel to my UF book or start another. I have a story in my head I want to write, but edits and submitting finished work must come first. If only I could write full time...

Thanks a lot, Mary, you've certainly intrigued us about this series!

Find Mary Abshire at the following places:



Claiming the Evil Dead (Book 1)
Fighting Evil (Book 3)

Mary Abshire is giving away an ebook download of CATCHING AN EVIL TAIL!


Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!

Contest ends May 31.

Winners will be announced in June.


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