Monday, July 2, 2012

Tour Review: Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall

Title: Echo Falls
Author: Jaime McDougall
Genre: Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Elements: Werewolves
Publisher: CreateSpace
Format: PDF, 238 Pages
ISBN-13: 9781463664046
Release Date: July 15, 2011
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 4.5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O'Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack - his pack - is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart. Will love give Phoebe the strength to trust Aidan and face her fears, or will her past destroy her future?


Phoebe Martin has been running from her brother's murderer ever since the night it happened. She moves from town to town trying to find a safe place to settle down and live without fear. She thinks she's found that place when she arrives in Echo Falls. Phoebe has found an apartment, is looking for an office to rent for her photography business, she's making friends and generally beginning to call Echo Falls home. But then the murders begin and the gifts start arriving on her doorstep.

Policeman and werewolf Alpha, Aidan O'Bryan has a murderer in his town. Three werewolves outside of his pack have been murdered; and then there's the young woman who was attacked in an alley that he was able to save just in time. Being the only one who survived, Phoebe Martin has information that could help solve the case before more innocent werewolves are killed. But she refuses to talk about the attack.

As Phoebe and Aidan grow closer and the murderer closes in on Phoebe and her new pack, Phoebe will need to find the strength to face her past and open her heart to love, trust, friendship, the pack, and Aidan if she hopes to protect herself and her pack.

I loved how Echo Falls starts off right away with a high tension situation. Phoebe is being chased by an assailant who then shifts into a werewolf and manages to do quite a bit of injury to her before she's saved by a man (or was it a wolf?). This kind of situation grabs readers attention right from the beginning. Then there's the awkward morning after when she wakes up to find a strange man in her apartment cooking breakfast. I think anyone would freak out waking up to that, which is why she goes straight for the knife.

I thought it interesting that the werewolves in this book can only shift at night and are forced to return to humanity during the day. In all the books I've read with werewolves or shifters, they could all shift whenever they wanted, day or night. And I really like the story or legend behind the reasoning for the night shift only. It's romantic, but also bittersweet, which usually goes hand-in-hand with an origin story like this one.

The mystery of who the Hunter and traitor are was even more gripping with how tight-lipped Phoebe is about her past. By the time she decides to open up it's almost too late. I did have an inkling about who the traitor was though. The green-eyed monster is hard to hide and is usually a reason behind treason. I did find it kind of annoying that Phoebe wouldn't ask for help from Aidan and her new pack. Hadn't she ever heard of strength in numbers? I did admire her protectiveness though. But the question at the very heart of the tale is, will Phoebe find the strength to fight or will she continue to run?

About this Author:

Jaime McDougall is a citizen of the world, currently loving life in beautiful country Victoria in Australia. She loves eating sushi, kidnapping her husband and naming her pets in honour of science fiction authors.

A love of fiction has always coursed through her veins and she told stories as a child even before she knew how to write them. Settling into one genre was never her style and she has plans for novels in women’s fiction, urban fantasy and more – all with a touch of romance.

She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: High School: The Real Deal and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles. She has also enjoyed writing the So You Want ebook series for authors looking to establish their names online.




Excerpt (Chapter One):

Keep running, keep running, keep running. Phoebe’s lungs burned as her mind screamed the mantra. Keep running, keep running.

How many steps can there be?

She should know. She lived in this apartment building.

Tears ran down her cheeks and her lungs burned for air. Only the random irrational thought broke through the panic keeping her feet moving down the steps. Keep running. Keep running. The light of the emergency exit came into view. Almost there…

The door to the stairwell slammed open with a hollow boom. She tripped and clung to the railing to steady herself.
Keep running.

The shock of the cool night air sent a shiver of relief through her body. She’d come out a side exit into an alley. If she could just get to the front –

Suddenly she was thrown to the ground from behind. She hit the concrete, what little breath she had knocked from her lungs. Blood began flowing from where her head hit the ground, and small sparks of light floated into her vision.

How did he catch up so fast?

Desperately she tried to gulp down as much air as she could, willing her lungs to cooperate. Instinct kicked in as the attacker slashed at her, and she curled into fetal position.

A dog. He’d turned into a dog. A big dog with vicious claws and teeth he used to tear into her exposed back, thigh and shoulder. She slowly regained her breath but could only use it to scream her throat raw.

Her vision faded, taking the small sparks of light with it. Searing pain ripped through her shoulder as a claw dug down against her bone. One last, long scream tore from her lungs before she was left gasping and sobbing, her fear slowly smoldering into rage.

Things can’t end like this.

She opened her eyes as the dog stood over her, trying to get to her throat. A paw came into her line of vision and she saw her chance. She reached out, grabbed it and squeezed with all the strength she had.

The dog yelped and tried to twist away, but she held on with all the strength she had. She knew she’d only bought herself time. She couldn’t move the dog off her and she couldn’t squeeze his paw all night. He tried uselessly to bite her, his jaws having no strength so long as she squeezed his paw. But she could already feel her strength waning.


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