Review: My Way To Hell by Dakota Cassidy (Hell Series, #2)

Author: Dakota Cassidy
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Other Books In Series: Kiss & Hell
Pages: 336
ISBN #: 978-0425234433

Marcella Acosta got herself into a whole underworld of trouble in the first book in this series. By helping her best friend Delaney, a medium, wrestle a soul away from Lucifer, the reluctant demon earned a spot on the big guy’s “special place in hell for people like you” list. 

A self-proclaimed fashionista, Marcella revels not only in the singe of a well thrown fireball, but the rush of a one-day sale at Macy’s. Unfortunately, after going up against Lucifer, she finds herself tossed onto a plane-in-limbo. Not a mall or salon in sight, no ability to mosey back and forth between hell and earth, and no way for her get in touch with Delaney. At least she THINKS there’s no way, until good ole’ Darwin (the ghost of one of Delaney’s many dogs) reminds her of the one person she hasn’t tried to reach. Someone she mixed with like gasoline and firecrackers, despite her attraction to him. Delaney’s brother Kellan.

Dakota writes with equal parts snark and sincere emotion and it works so well for the story. These characters are up against some heavy-duty supernatural ugliness, but manage to hold their own for the sake of a young family friend with the “gift of sight”. There were also quite a few surprises tossed in, having to do with Marcella’s tightly guarded past. Just when you (and when I say you, I mean, I) think you (again, I mean, I) have it all figured out… think again. In the midst of all the craziness, the story of her demonic beginning will tug at your heart and maybe bring a tear to your eye (yeah, that would be me, again). The action between the many minions of hell and Marcella’s crew is full of both ass-kicking and snarky comment slinging. 

Now, back to Kellan. The yummilicious brother of Marcella’s best friend, who has “inherited” the ability to see ghosts. In Kiss & Hell, the banter between Kellan and Marcella was fun to read, and the attraction was clear. In this book, it’s obviously stepped up on both counts. The push and pull with these two is at the same time comical and endearing. Once they stop fighting and admit they want each other, they’re hot enough to give hell a run for it’s money.

The side characters in this story are just fantastic. Between the ghostly, smarth-mouthing of Darwin, who I absolutely adore, and the tough-but-tender-hearted demon Catalina, there are laughs and action aplenty.

My only issues with the book are minor. First, I have no problem with clowns, so what was supposed to be an important fight scene lost some of it’s punch. However, if you DO have a problem with clowns (and I know quite a few people with that phobia), it should have it’s intended impact. Second, and I’m being picky here, the overuse of the terms “hard planes” and “cupped” got on my nerves. I know, I know, it’s a silly thing to even notice, but I did, and it bothered me. I’m guessing most people will be fine with it, but I have an annoying part of my brain that picks up on repetition.

Overall, I really, liked the book. I had a feeling I would, and was not disappointed. I love Dakota’s storytelling style, I love her humor, and I love her characters. Do yourself a favor, take a day off, grab some snacks and your favorite summertime beverage and read this book (read Kiss & Hell first, if you haven’t already). It’ll be a day well spent.

The lovely and talented Ms. Cassidy was kind enough to answer our fun list of author questions (insert happy dance). I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did. And BIG THANK YOU to Dakota for doing it. 🙂

1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

It depends. In the beginning of a book, like the first 40K words, I usually don’t have any music on because that’s the toughest part of a book for me. Middle and end usually finds me listening to anything without lyrics to the song. I’m savant-like when it comes to lyrics to a song, so instead of writing, I’ll sing. LOL. I listen to Kenny G, lots of classical like Vivaldi. None of my characters have a soundtrack, but there are definitely songs that come to mind that remind me of their character traits. With Marcella in My Way To Hell, it was Spooky by Santana 🙂

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffee-shop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

In my office, chained to a chair and an IV drip of coffee attached to my arm. LOLLOL. I prefer to write alone and I write from about 10-6 in the morning when the house is the quietest and telemarketers/girls/the senior center aren’t calling for the people in my house.

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

I definitely don’t look at numbers ever. I don’t go to Amazon (though, usually someone sends me something from B&N’s list or Amazon), and I don’t watch any lists because I’ll never make one. LOLLOL. I’m usually so busy doing a blog or 12 like with the release of Accidentally Demonic, that I don’t have time to stress about it. I try to stay focused on the task which is spreading my virus and infecting everyone in parts near and far 🙂

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

You know, I can’t remember. I’m not much into costumes and wasn’t even as a little kid. Though one year, as a gag, I dressed up as a baby–diaper and all. So I’d have to say that was prolly my fave 🙂

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

Italy, Italy, Italy! Specifically Tuscany, and I’d bring smokes, a lighter (I know, I know. Don’t shoot!), and my favorite new 1/2 wig. which is curly and flirty, and fun. I’m crazy into these wigs as of late. Can’t believe I didn’t know they existed, but they’re like shoes–you can’t have just one!

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

I made it through the rain, by the ultimate, Barry Manilow. It perfectly defines where I’ve been, who I was, and who I became as a result.

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

Set people on fire? LOL. No, I’m kidding. Hmmmm, I guess I’d fly. Nina in Accidentally Dead can fly. That’d be awesome. Or maybe I’d spend a few hours with Delaney contacting dead celebrities. How cool would it be to talk to a Bee Gee?

8 ) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

Song lyrics. I don’t know what we’d call the category, but all throughout my life, I’ve always been able to pick up and retain song lyrics. I usually only have to hear the song once, and I know the words. It’s a disease. Doesn’t matter what part of the song I come in on either, I just know what the words are and what part of the song is playing. My lips are forever moving wherever there’s music–so it’s no wonder people point and stare at me in Kroger when I shop and the muzac’s on 🙂

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why?

Cruelty–to anyone or anything. I hate it, most especially in animals, the elderly and children. Though, sadly, if the word were eradicated, there are plenty more to define the act 🙁

10) What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

That would have to be the Xanax story. I took a Xanax the night before my first ever book launch party, okay? And then I sang. With a lisp. Sunshine on my Shoulders. While my friends Renee George, Terri Smythe and Michele Bardsley video-taped it on a phone and mocked me 🙂 There. It’s out in the open. Fine. LOLLOL

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope this was something different, and that you had fun telling us a little more about yourself. I can assure you, we’re all anxious to see what you’ve shared!

Thank you, honey!

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