Speakeasy manager Clara Woodsen will do anything to save her silent film idol from an untimely death. Even summon a demon. Even bet she can teach his half-human/half-cheetah assistant to foxtrot. But people around town are acting strange. Have Clara’s efforts unleashed a zombie plague? Or are her customers just really bad at dancing the Charleston? And can a career-minded woman find happiness with the man of her dreams if she uses her…brains?
All Bernard Benjamin wants is a quiet life. At least as quiet as possible for a young college man possessing a golem housekeeper, five demon-summoning witches for cousins, and a dance partner who has not only two left feet but two right feet as well.
Bernie is used to being his cousin Clara’s stooge, but when the chips are down and push edges toward shove, he knows they’ll back each other one hundred percent. So why has Clara tied him up in a pentagram? And what’s she doing with that sharp, shiny knife…?
©2013 Vicky Loebel (P)2013 Vicky Loebel
"A briskly entertaining novel with a colorful setting and the right mix of humor and paranormal romance."-(Kirkus Reviews)
This book was funny, sometimes scary and at all times interesting. The narrator does an excellent job giving each character in the story a unique voice. The writing alternates between the main characters, Clara, a lovesick teen and Bernie, her cousin and partner in crime. Because of Clara's crush on her silent movie idol, Beau, she unwittingly subjects them all to the machinations of a Demon. Throw in mobsters, zombies and tainted hooch and you have the makings for a huge disaster. I look forward to more works from this author.
"This audiobook was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review "
Note: This book and it’s loosely tied-in sequel, Keys to the Coven, can each work just fine as stand alones.
Set in Falstaff, Arizona in the 1920s during Prohibition, the Woodsens run a speakeasy bar and also sell some of their surplus alcohol to others. Now a Chicago-based mob is trying to move in and run the alcohol trade. They will be surprised at how little pushing it takes to upset a witch. Meanwhile, the youngest of the Woodsen cousins, teen Clara, is desperate to save her beloved movie star Beau Beauregard. She’s willing to break some rules in the name of true love (or her first crush). Her older cousin, Bernard (Bernie) Benjamin, is just the guy to help her out, even if he has to be lured to the basement and tied to the center of a pentagram. Demons and zombies have never had so much fun as they will during the dance competition!
Once again, Vicky Loebel has given me something original and very funny. There’s a bit of sexy (though it’s pretty PG-13 for this book) as well. Clara is a driven character who’s young enough to not know to look at the bigger picture when it comes to love, yet old enough to have just enough responsibility and autonomy to get into big trouble. She’s dead set on saving her ‘beloved’ Beau even if he has no idea she exists (and that’s because they’ve never met). She’s even willing to become a warlock by summoning a demon and striking a bargain with it. Hans is the handsome demon that appears and somehow he talks things around so that his demon familiar, Ruth, will enter a dance contest. The pit just gets deeper from there on out.
With the Chicago mob, Bernie and his personal schemes, Gladys the Golem, Beau’s resentment over the whole mess, zombies, stolen booze, and an older Woodsen sibling arriving soonish, Clara really does have her hands full. It was so funny! There’s plenty of clever lines and each person really has their own agenda in mind. Clara wants love from Beau, and to not get caught. Bernie doesn’t want to die a horrible death (which is surely what will happen when Clara’s older witch sisters find out about this whole mess). The mob want their booze, the money, and control (and they seem constantly surprised when that doesn’t happen easily). Beau is quite angry with his situation and Clara is totally surprised by what he truly wants. Gladys just wants to get back to housekeeping.
I really enjoyed the various magical elements. There’s the demon Hans and his familiar Ruth which have their intricate little dos and don’ts. Then Gladys who is a Golem and rather protective of young Bernie. One of Clara’s best friends is a ghost whisperer and she has a ghost familiar (Gaspar, complete with Spanish accent). Loebel manages to pull each one into the storyline seamlessly. Moreover, she gives each one rules to work with and she keeps them within those rules. With a comedy, it would be easy to have these various magical folk breaking rules, so I appreciated that once the author laid down a law of this is how this type of magic works, she kept her characters in line.
I did quite enjoy all the flirty, sexy behavior that popped up here and there. Demons love to trade on sex because it builds up their karma, which is basically spiritual coinage. Clara knows all this from her older witch sisters and her book on demons. Yet when the offers are made to her, she’s tempted. Bernie isn’t as naive but he’s not as well-schooled as he likes to pretend either. Ruth, being a large hunting cat most of the time, has a sexy confidence all the time, even when she’s totally mangling her dance partner’s foot during practice. There’s plenty of wit and humor with the sexy bits, making them just as fun as the rest of the book.
Having listened to both audiobook set in this urban fantasy world, I really hope Loebel gives us more. The humor is a bit unique and I love the mix of serious situations, magic, and laughter. Not everyone makes it out of this story unscathed. In many ways, Clara comes of age in this tale. Loved it and looking forward to more of it!
I received a free copy of this book.
Narration: Emily Beresford and Nick Podehl once again did a great job on this book. Even though they voiced totally different characters for Keys to the Coven, I read them far enough apart that I didn’t have character echos in my head, as can sometimes happen when you listen to books set in the same universe that have different characters yet the same narrators. These two are great with all the emotions and also delivering straight lines so the humor is left hanging there for the reader/listener to catch even as the story moves onward.
I am a chronic binge listener and enjoy paranormal romance, MC, science fiction, historical fiction and more
Speakeasy Dead is set in the 1920’s I believe, in a small town called Fallstaff. Fallstaff is full of magical families and a young (Clara Woodsen), half sister of the most well known family in town finds herself in a lot of trouble when she makes a deal with a demon to save her beloved silent film star crush.
Clara’s cousin, Bernard Benjamin is his ill-informed sidekick and finds himself in unimaginable situations while trying to follow her lead.
It was an interesting story but it didn’t always grab my attention and I found myself distracted by other books I wanted to read. This was the second story I read in the fictional world of Fallstaff though the books are not part of a series or even set in the same time line. I enjoyed the other book, Keys to the Coven, more than this one.
The narrators did a great job managing all of the characters. One complaint I had about their performance in the other book was that it sounded like Emily Beresford had a cold when recording that story and I am happy to say that it sounds like she recovered from her cold for this book :)
I voluntarily provided a review in exchange for a free copy of this audiobook.
Seventeen-year-old Clara Woodsen arranges a dance contest at the Fallstaff Nine-pin Fellowship to coincide with the opening of a swanky hotel across the street. She's thrilled when Hollywood idol Beau Beauregard agrees to attend. Unfortunately, he falls off the train and ends up with peritonitis. In a panic, she Shanghais her cousin into an attempt to save Beau's life by summoning a demon.
How is Clara going to get herself out of the ridiculous mess she's created? Will her oldest sister kill her? Will she trigger a zombie apocalypse in Fallstaff?
Thank you, AudiobookBoom, for providing this book for free in exchange for an honest review. It was a blast!
Imagine a roaring 20's world with moon-shining witches, warlocks, a housekeeper Golem, a dancing shape shifting cheetah/Genie and her demon master and oh yes a Zombie silent movie idol; Oh I almost forgot the ghost.
Our main heroes are Clara and Bernie cousins from a family of witches. Even though Bernie is 3 years younger than Clara he acts like her younger brother as Clara is a pro at getting both of them into trouble and mischief.
Bernie is a care free college student with a mothering housekeeping Golem named Gladys who's been a servant of his family for generations. Bernie is happy not to of inherited witch craft as he come from a family of witches. Thanks to his cousin Clara this will change.
Clara is infatuated with Beau a silent film star who is on his his death bed. When Clara with Bernie's reluctant assistance summons a demon in order to save Beau she not only releases Bernie's hidden witchcraft genes she also creates a world of hilarious havoc.
This novel is a bit different and fun.
“I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot come”
I love books! Big books, little books. Funny books, paranormal books! I really just want to live in a library!
This is a very entertaining book. I loved the book. It is very different than other books I've listened to.
The 20's setting. I thought that it was interesting to listen to the author write about a bar that had witches running the bar being harassed by the mob guys.
The both brought the characters to life. Each had a unique quality to their voices to make the book much more fun and interesting to listen too.
I think that this book keeps you all over the place, You get a feeling of shock, nervous for the main characters and sad for Bernard Benjamin he seems to get screwed over a bit by his cousin Clara a bit too much. I think I would listen to the book again. It was fun to listen to.
I was provided this audio book at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com.”
i was a very interesting book. i really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
I loved the way this book was written. You could see everything happening. Vicky Loebel is a master of descriptive fiction. I especially loved her witty, intelligent sense of humor that shines through perfectly on the page.
This audiobook was provided at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com
This was a very riveting story. It is outside of my normal fare but I enjoyed it immensely! It was a little distracting the way the point of view jumped about and the ending wasn't what I expected. Go ahead and read it. You won't be disappointed.
This was an odd story with developed characters, a decent plot, and its told from multiple
points of view.
There is also a little humor, a hint of romance, and a few twists and turns, through out the
Overall, a slightly interesting read or listen with a different take on Zombies.
Nick Podehl did really well with the narration.
"This audio book was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review."
"Witches and zombies!"
This is a prequel book to Keys to the Coven. Both books are great as a stand alone or together. I definitely hoping for more in this series! This book switches perspectives from Clara Woodsmen to her cousin Bernard Benjamin as it switches narrators. Yes, the same Woodsmen family from Keys to the Coven, just a little further back in the family tree. This book even adds zombies! I loved it! Of course there was sex! Can't have witches, warlocks, and demons without sex! Great story and excellent narration! Looking forward to the next book!
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