Book Review: Two and Twenty Dark Tales (Anthology)

Two and Twenty Dark Tales:  Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes

Edited by:  Georgia McBride and Michelle Zink

Publisher:  Month9Books

Genre:  Horror

This anthology is available as an ebook and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  More reviews can be found on Goodreads.

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

It’s always hard to decide what to rate anthologies.  Some stories are amazing and others bore me.  So, I decided to to highlight the short stories that were dark, disturbing, and make this anthology worth buying.  5/23 lived up to their promise to be haunting.  These 5 stories were A+++.

Clockwise by Leah Cypress – A retelling of the hickory dictory dock rhyme.  Amarind was a princess transformed into a mouse and only the magic of a clock switched her back to a human.  She has to unravel the mystery behind the enchantment with the help of a witch.

Boys and Girls Come Out to Play by Angie Frazier – Bronywn tries to save her sister from the Beckoning, but she soon learns that you can’t deceive the witches in the woods.

Life in a Shoe by Heidi R. Kling – She can’t understand why her mother keeps getting pregnant when there’s no money to feed the children she has.

The Well by K.M. Walton – Jack and Jill are the only two left alive after a deadly virus kills everyone else in the world.

The Wish by Suzanne Young – Lauren hates her life so much that she makes a deadly wish upon a star.

A copy of Two and Twenty Dark Tales was provided by the publisher (Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Since there are so many authors, I’m only going to spotlight the ones from the stories I loved in this anthology.

Leah Cypress – website  |  Changelings – a FREE collection of short stories  |  Mistwood –  A Kirkus 2010 Best Book for Teens

Angie Frazier – website  | Everlasting – YA historical fantasy  |  The Midnight Tunnel – first in a MG mystery series

Heidi R. Kling – website  |  Witch’s Brew – YA active fiction paranormal story

K.M. Walton – website  | Cracked – YA contemporary about bullying

Suzanne Young – website  |  A Need So Beautiful – YA angel book  |  My reviews of A Need So Beautiful and A Want So Wicked  (Can you tell I LOVE this author?)

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Short Story Saturday #12

Welcome to this week’s edition of Short Story Saturday, where I find books 100 pages or less on Amazon that are both self-published or small press published and worth reading, which means you’ll only see mini-reviews of 3 stars and up on this feature!
 

Z is for Zombie by Philip Hansen

Publisher:  Self-published

Genre:  Horror

This 21 page story is available as an ebook from Amazon.  More reviews can be found on Goodreads.

It’s the end of the world as we know it… and nothing is fine.

Mack, Skinny, Navarette and El Tee are Echo Squad, soldiers on the frontlines of the zombie war. Faced with an army of zombies that hungers for all flesh to be eaten their tiny group must survive deadly decap zombies and wicked clever roamer zombies in time for an aerial assault that will change the face of the battleground against the living dead.

Z is for Zombie is an action-packed gun-porn short story in the world of the living dead.

This is a man’s story.  A story worthy of a man cave and the story to read between Halo 3 matches.  I wasn’t surprised to learn that the author is an avid gamer (as am I) and the utter pwnage of the characters over the zombies in the novels was epic…like purple epic…like I just beat the hidden cow level epic.  Okay, okay.  Seriousness.  This is a story about soldiers…in a zombie apocalypse.  They talk like soldiers and there is quite a bit of military jargon used in the story.  I loved the dialogue.  The descriptions are so vivid.  The pacing and action is super fast.  The plot and characters feel so authentic and intense that I just have a need to read the story out loud – and then I realize that I probably shouldn’t in front of my kid.  I don’t want to explain what “headshot” means.

Warning:  excessive cursing  violence, and gore.

I do have one complaint – the text is in a stupid font and non-adjustable.  Besides that, this is a pretty awesome short story.

Short Story Saturday #11

Welcome to this week’s edition of Short Story Saturday, where I find books 100 pages or less on Amazon that are both self-published/small press published and worth reading, which means you’ll only see mini-reviews of 3 stars and up on this feature!
Sorry about the late posting.  It’s been a crazy weekend. 

After the Darkness (Episode One) by SunHi Mistwalker

Publisher:  Self-published

Genre:  Dsytopian

This 27 page story is available as an ebook from Amazon.  More reviews can be found on Goodreads.

Even in a world of never-ending winters and permanent darkness, fourteen-year-old Nadia Comani has everything she could ever want: power, privilege, a loving family and most importantly warmth. But her family’s refusal to compromise their values changes everything. Nadia is cast down from her pedestal of power onto the trash heap of the lower classes. No longer guaranteed a life of ease, Nadia faces a future of servitude. Branded as powerless and deviant, will Nadia muster the strength to save herself and what remains of her family?

This dystopian short short is descriptive to the point where the metaphors and imagery does slow the pacing of the story.  I would recommend that you read this story without distractions and truly let yourself be absorbed by the world the author paints with her images.  Not much is known about Nadia’s “normal” life in the beginning of the story, as she is abducted along with her sister within the first couple of pages.  The situation is bleak for Nadia and the people treat her more like a slave than a princess.  For someone who enjoys “darker” stories, I enjoyed the beginning chapters of Nadia’s tale.  I did notice one missing word from a sentence (72%)- but besides that both the formatting and grammar are good.  And as a warning, Episode One does end on a cliffhanger.

Note:  The cover was recently redesigned.  I think the new one looks awesome.

About the author:

Author of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction. Mistwalker enjoys writing books about how societal collapse can change individuals and families. She specifically explores class, economics, environmentalism and state sponsored oppression within post-apocalyptic and dystopian futures.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Short Story Saturday #10

Welcome to this week’s edition of Short Story Saturday, where I find books 100 pages or less on Amazon that are both self-published/small press published and worth reading, which means you’ll only see mini-reviews of 3 stars and up on this feature!

Nordic Fairies by Saga Berg

Publisher:  Self-published

Genre:  Fantasy

This 36 page story is available as an ebook from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  More reviews can be found on Goodreads.  Nordic Fairies is currently FREE!  Download your copy today.

What would you do if your lover since a thousand years back in time reappeared after two years apart as a famous movie star, and you couldn’t get to him?

Svala and Viggo have spent a hundred lives together over the last thousand years. As Liosálfar, Nordic light fairies, their job is to do good and to uphold a balance in the mortal world. A balance, often compromised by the Döckálfar, Nordic dark fairies.

In this life, Svala turns on her TV and learns that Viggo has become a popular movie star. This is not only highly unexpected, it indicates something is wrong and that Viggo is attempting to contact Svala before their assignments are carried out, an action which is strictly forbidden.

Svala seeks him out, but not without breaking a few rules of her own, and learning that things are not always as they seem.

This is the first part of the Novella Series Nordic Fairies. The second part Freja (Nordic Fairies, #2) was released in March 2012 and the third part, Döckálfar (Nordic Fairies, #3) will be released during the summer 2012. So far, a total of five parts are planned in the Nordic Fairies series.

Nordic Fairies is a low fantasy novella series with a new concept of fairies where Saga Berg introduces Nordic light and dark fairies, Liosálfar and Döckálfar in a contemporary setting. The series has been very well received by readers in all ages with high ratings and amazing reviews on Amazon.

This is the first part in a series, so be forewarned that the end of this part is far from the end of the story.  It’s a fun story but a teaser.  If you haven’t read anything by Saga Berg, then take advantage of Nordic Faeries #1 free download right now.  But, don’t be surprise when you find yourself clicking the buy button on part 2 and 3 because you NEED to find out what happens with Svala and Viggo.

About the author:

Saga Berg was born in Sweden during the snow storm of 1979 and knew already at the age of seven that she wanted to become a writer. She studied English and Communication at the University of Malmö, then took her Bachelor in Marketing- and Communications at the same University.

After working a few years as a Marketing Manager, Saga Berg started writing the novella series Nordic Fairies, her first published story. The Nordic Fairies series is a low fantasy novella series with a new concept of fairies and introduces Nordic light and dark fairies, Liosálfar and Döckálfar fighting for balance in a contemporary world. The series has been very well received by readers in all ages with high ratings and amazing reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.

Three parts of the series is currently published, Nordic Fairies (Nordic Fairies, #1), and Freja (Nordic Fairies, #2), Döckálfar (Nordic Fairies, #3) and Daughters (Nordic Fairies, #4). So far, a total of six parts are planned in the Nordic Fairies series.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Tour/Review: Viper’s Creed by T.L. Shreffler

Today we have a double review – for Sora’s Quest and Viper’s Creed.  Check out more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and giveaways on the tour hosted by These Paper Worlds Book Tours.  Please note that everyone who leaves a comment at any of the tour stops is entered into a drawing to win a custom blog design by Skyway Avenue Designs.  The winner will be announced on November 1st at thesepaperworldsbt.blogspot.com.  A full tour schedule is available HERE.  Although, I think both books are worth 4 1/2 stars, I don’t typically give half stars.  So I’m giving Sora’s Quest 4 stars and Viper’s Creed 5 stars, because I enjoyed the second book more than the first book.

Sora’s Quest (#1) Review:

Publisher:  The Runaway Pen

Genre: YA Fantasy

You can buy Sora’s Quest on ebook at Amazon.  Paperback and nook copies will be available soon.  More reviews available on Goodreads.

Overall:  If you read books for romance, then put this book down.  There are teasers and hints of romance in these pages, but nothing that will satisfy readers who enjoy a healthy dose of lip-locking.  That said, I loved that this book deviated from the traditional fantasy layout.  Sora isn’t rescued, rather kidnapped, and you spend most of the novel trying to figure out whether or not her “kidnappers” are the good guys or the bad guys.  Or maybe they’re not the ONLY bad guys, because her “kidnappers” are being hunted by a supernatural man with unstoppable desire for vengeance – who will kill anyone who gets in his way.  Overall, I enjoyed how this book ventured down a very dark and unpredictable path through a well-crafted fantasy world, while still maintaining a clean YA rating:  No sex.  No language.  Very little gore.

Characters:  I guess you can say that there is a bit of a love triangle between Sora, Crush, and Dorian, but its downplayed.  Sora finds herself repulsed by Crush (although I kinda like him) and yet the two of them keep getting paired up.  Sora enjoyed the good-humor and flirts of Dorian much more, but it doesn’t seem that he’s taking her seriously.  I really like Sora.  She transforms from a teenager with a wild imagination to a woman who would do anything for her companions.  She’s got a mouth on her and is anything BUT a pushover.  I like the complexities of all the characters, although I’m a little disappointed that I know so little about Crush, Burn, and Dorian.

Plot:  Sora plans to run away on her wedding day but instead gets kidnapped.  She finds out that her companions (kidnappers) are being hunted.  And then, she discovers that not only is there magic in the world but that she is in possession of a magical object that will help save her life.  Sora gets few answers about what’s going on and where she is going and it left me just as frustrated as her at times.  I do like that there are no lengthy info-dumps in this book.  I also like that the pacing doesn’t lag much, although I wasn’t quite sure where the novel would leave me.  There are quite a few deaths in this book, so be careful which characters you get attached to.

Ending:  The ending shocked me in quite a few ways.  For one, I expected there to be more of a romance.  Two, there was a scene that made me particularly sad – I had gotten quite attached to a certain someone.  And three, in the last couple pages I was ANNOYED by a certain decision made by two of the characters.  Although Sora had some resolution to her issues (definitely not what you’d expect), there are many questions left unanswered about her companions.  I like that this book was unpredictable, but don’t bother reading it without picking up the second book right after.  This isn’t a stand-alone book.

Book Description:

A noblewoman, an assassin, and a soul-stealing necklace….

Sora planned on running away from her wedding, but she never expected to be kidnapped! Dumped into a world of magical races, arcane jewelry and forgotten lore, she finds herself at the mercy of a dangerous assassin, haunted by an even darker past. She yearns for freedom, but he won’t let her go—not when her Cat’s Eye necklace is the only thing that can save his life.

But the necklace itself presents a problem. It is an ancient device from the long forgotten War of the Races, and its magic has the ability to steal souls. Can Sora learn to wield its power—or will the power wield her? (Winner of the SKOW 2006 Best Fantasy Award)

Rating:  B

Viper’s Creed (#2) Review:

Publisher:  Self-published

Genre: YA Fantasy

Viper’s Creed is expected to be published October 31st on Amazon (later on Barnes & Noble).  More reviews available on Goodreads.

(There should be no spoilers from the first book in this review.)

Overall:  There’s slightly more romance in this one than the first, but not much more than teases and hints.  Again, the world is so well defined that I can picture each town and place they visit with ease.  I definitely felt more of a connection to the minor characters in this book that were also in the first.  The chapters from Crash’s POV were my favorite -while in the first book, I liked the chapters told from Volcrian’s POV.  I definitely recommend this series for those who like dark fantasy or fantasy that is out-of-the-box.

Characters:  If you’ve ever read the Rhapsody series by Elizabeth Hayden, then the characters might seem familiar.  There’s an “innocent girl”, moody assassin, and a friendly giant.  Fortunately, these characters are more complex and immuned to the Mary Sue curse that hit every single character in Rhapsody one by one.  By the third book in THAT series, I’d given up and marked the series as a DNF because the characters were reversing in complexity.  Not here.  In Viper’s Creed, we finally get to figure out more about Sora’s companions.  Sora herself has grown up and is starting to realise her feelings for a certain someone.  I think out of all the characters, Crush is the one who we get to learn most about and connect to.  My suspicions from the first book are correct and he is guarding some very dark secrets.  Ones that he won’t give up, even to his friends.

Plot:  The book starts out with a bang.  Like the first book, there will be deaths and no one is off-limits.  In Viper’s Creed, Sora groups up with her companions.  They have to kill the people hunting them and save the world.  Easy enough, right?  As opposed to the first book, Sora and her companions are on the same mission (or are they?).  There is finally a definite goal and solution to the problem.  Only…Sora can die from the solution, which isn’t cool because I like her as a heroine.

Ending:  Again, the book ends a little too soon.  It’s not a cliffhanger exactly but it’s pretty damn close.  I’m frustrated that it will be a year before I get to read the next (final?) installment.  Even with the ending, this was a pretty awesome book.  I definitely recommend that you read it, but if you’re easily upset by unanswered plots…you may want to wait until the third book is available before tackling this series.  You have been warned.  Reading this book will make you stalk the Amazon page in hopes that pre-order becomes available for #3 Volcrain’s Hunt soon.

Book Description:

Sora is having visions. Strange, terrifying visions brought on by her Cat’s Eye necklace, an ancient and magical device. Spurred to action, she leaves her mother’s cabin to find Crash, the mysterious assassin who once changed her life. She is certain that together, they can discover what the necklace is trying to tell her.

Crash is still on the run from the dark sorcerer, Volcrian, but now a plague is spreading across the land. Volcrian’s quest for vengeance has awakened something far more evil than himself; a force that could destroy the entire kingdom. Together, he and Sora must harness the power of the Cat’s Eye and kill the sorcerer before it’s too late.

Rating:  A

I received copies of these books as part of a book tour in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

(Image and bio borrowed from Goodreads.)

T. L. Shreffler lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves diversity, fantasy, romance, iced tea, long walks, philosophy, and thrift store shopping. She recently graduated with a BA in Badass (Creative Writing) and her poetry has been published consecutively in Eclipse: A Literary Journal and The Northridge Review. She works as the assistant editor for the funky and fantastic Tinsel Tokyo Magazine!

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Publisher’s Website  

Cover Reveal: The Last Degree by Dina Rae

I’m not huge on thrillers, but I adore conspiracy novels.  The dirtier the conspiracy, the more I relish it.  The Last Degree promises to be a good read and there’s a bonus!  For two days, it is FREE to download.  Nothing wrong with free, right?  Try out this book and if you like her or love her, check out her other works.  Let me say it again:

The Last Degree will be FREE July 14th & July 15th only!


Title: The Last Degree

Series: Book #1

Author: Dina Rae

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Paranormal, Political, Suspense, Thriller, Christian

Publisher: Dina Rae

Ebook format only

Words: 93000

Purchase for only $1.99:  Amazon

 

Summary:

The Last Degree is a fictionalized account of how Freemasons and other secret societies set up the world for takeover. Ancient writings foretell a ‘Shining One’ who emerges as the world’s prophet. A murder of a Most Worshipful mason resembles a secret oath. A cop gets too close to solving the crime. Paranoid preppers go underground, preparing for war.

Headlines such as the Norway massacre, meltdown of the European Union, unscrupulous media, animal die-offs, Middle Eastern unrest, andU.S.shrinking power make the plot relevant to present day. This book is an ode to Christians, Birthers, 2012ers, Truthers, preppers, and/or other conspiracy junkies who enjoy Dan Brown, Jesse Ventura, Brad Meltzer, Alex Jones, Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.

Excerpt:

Dwight took off his crown, signifying he was no longer playing King Solomon.

“Sacrifice is expected for ones that you love.  Do you love me?” Dwight shouted.  “Then bow down before me and offer praise!”

Everyone knelt and laid their head down to the floor, chanting ‘Most Worshipful,

Most Worshipful’ several times before Dwight commanded them to get up.

In a manic energetic state, Dwight vociferated, “Et vitam impendere vero!”  All repeated, with the three new pledges joining in.  Minutes later, he began to calm down.  “To sacrifice life for truth – that is what we must always do!  You must trust me as your Most Worshipful and sacrifice at my command!  Are you prepared to do this?”  All three pledges nodded.

Dwight pulled the content baby out of Arthur’s arms and threw it high into the air.  As the baby began to descend, Dwight took his sword and hacked through its neck, decapitating it before it hit the floor.  Only the three pledges shrieked in horror.  He sinisterly smiled as he picked up the head and body, revealing it was only a doll.

“Don’t believe with your eyes, but believe with your knowledge.  We are his chosen and will soon be exalted.”

The three men looked down at their hands and tried not to scream.  They were covered in blood.

“Sacrifice, my brothers, sacrifice.  I will teach you well.  You are all Chiefs of the Tabernacle!  Let us go and celebrate!” Dwight gleamed.

Check out The Last Degree Prequel as well—Be Paranoid Be Prepared!  Currently .99 cents.

 

About the Author:

Dina Rae is a new author here to stay.  As a former teacher, she brings an academic element to her work.  Her two novels, Halo of the Damned and The Last Degree, weave research and suspense throughout the plots.  Her short story, Be Paranoid Be Prepared, is a prequel of sorts to The Last Degree, focusing on the James Martin character.  Dina also freelances for various entertainment blogs.

Dina lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs outside ofChicago.  She is a Christian, an avid tennis player, movie buff, and self-proclaimed expert on several conspiracy theories.  When she is not writing, she is reading novels from her favorite authors Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Brad Thor, George R.R. Martin, and Preston & Childs.

Find the Author:

Website | Blog |

Book Review: The Glimpse by Claire Merle

The Glimpse by Claire Merle

Publisher:  Faber and Faber Children’s Books

Available in ebook or paperback.

If you’re easily offended by use of stereotypes and torture of small children, I’d advise you not to check out this book.  Some of the characters in this book are very close-minded.  Such as Ana’s father, who will do everything in his power to make sure his family does not develop mental illness.  In his mind, it is a disease and harmful to society.

The only way to treat this disease is to over-medicate the person until they become a zombie in both emotions and senses.  Children like Ana are raised to fear mental illness and when Ana is diagnosed as being a carrier for mental illness, she loses all self-image and feels like she is a disease.  Her bonding partner, Jasper, keeps postponing their arranged marriage and Ana blames it on her being a carrier.  Everything that goes wrong she blames on herself.  She feels like she has no control and she’s forced to withhold all emotions and “crazy” actions in fear that these things will trigger the illness.

And then Jasper is kidnapped.  Ana decides to find out what happened to him by leaving the safety of her community and enters the world of the crazy people.  There she discovers how normal some of the “crazy” people are and that people like her father are the real enemy.

Or are they?  Maybe the Crazies are crazy (go figure) and are feeding Ana delusions.  The author leads you back and forth in what to believe and it’s fairly convincing.  I like how each side truly believed in their position on whether or not the segregation and classification then medication process was fair and just.  I enjoy novels where I can’t decide whether or not the narrator is truly in the right mind.

Now the horror lover in me was super psyched when Ana and many of her teenage friends were repeatedly tortured in very explicit ways.  If you enjoy light reads, move along.  If you prefer the dark and twisted novels, this one is for you.  I not-so-secretly enjoyed the scenes where the “Crazies” patients were put into tanks, it was slowly filled up with water, and then sometimes the doctors stretched the time-allotted a little too long and there would be a drowning.

So why when I adored this book so much did I not give it five stars or an A?  The ending sucked.  There was so much buildup during the novel and almost none of it was resolved by the end.  I hate cliffhangers.  I felt like tossing this book off a cliff when I finished, but since I read it on my Kindle, I refrained.  Plus, I didn’t feel like driving across town to find a cliff.  That said, I hope there is a sequel.  There better be a sequel.  I want to know what happens next to Ana, Cole, Jasper, and the rest of the gang.

Characters 4/5

Concept 5/5

Pacing 3/5

Grammar 5/5

Ending 1/5

Summary:

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.

Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears.

Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not intefere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper’s abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

Grade: B

This book will appeal to fans of Hunger Games and other dystopian or YA novels.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you can buy it from Amazon.  You can check out more reviews at Goodreads.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Short Story Saturday #1

Short Story Saturday honors short story indie authors of Amazon.com that are worth a damn.  I shuffle through the grime and find you a couple gems to check out if you’re looking for a quick read.

Lilah’s Ghost by Deb Logan

Currently $2.99 on Amazon.

A MG paranormal short story about a girl who’s best and only friend is a ghost who can’t leave the house.  It’s a cute story about friendship and selfishness in a paranormal setting.  A bonus short story entitled Angelic Voices is included as well, which is a contemporary MG story about jealousy and karma.  Perfect for fans of MG that want a quick read.

Summary:

Twelve-year-old Hannah Barnes is just like all the other girls in her small Georgia town, except for one little detail: Hannah’s best friend – make that her only friend – is a ghost. When the annual Sweet Pea Festival arrives, Hannah discovers the secret to freeing Lilah from her earthly bondage. Hannah has a decision to make. Will she help Lilah move on, or will she hold on to her best friend?

Severance by Tom Doolah

Currently $0.99 on Amazon.

The worst part about this story is the tacky name of the main character.  The writing itself is anything but.  I enjoyed the quick pace and vivid descriptions of the assassin at work.  The author has two other short stories available to read if you like this one too.

Summary:

Severance had a job to do. As an assassin she was required to detach herself from her target. But this one was personal, as well as professional. And there was a good chance she may not survive the job.

Would her preparations be enough to carry her to a new dawn? Was she up to the task of taking on the most famous and mystery-shrouded assassin in the world? There was only one way to find out

Novella Review: Hearts of Fire by Kira Brady

Hearts of Fire by Kira Brady

Publisher: Zebra Books

Available in ebook only.

With a low page count, Kira Brady crams action and romance into every word.  I adore the fast pace and while the romance struck quickly, so did the disgust in the townsfolk of Alice and Brand’s coupling.  Just as soon as the two spend a moment together, they are thrusted into opposite sides of an ancient war between Shifters and Dragons.

I liked Brand more than Alice, as we learn he has a troubled history, while her background is limited to being the daughter of the town’s leader.  Norgard was the only minor character that stood out for me.  He began the book with a BANG, literally.  I’m hoping that he makes a future appearance in the soon to be released novel.

The only part I hated about this novella was the length.  I read it in one sitting.  When I finished, I hoped for another hundred pages to read and find out what happened next, but I guess I’ll have to wait until the novel’s release in August.

Characters 4/5

Concept 5/5

Pacing 5/5

Grammar 5/5

Ending 4/5

Summary

In the prequel to a stunning new paranormal series, one woman’s desire for a forbidden man will spark a centuries-long supernatural conflict—and a love nothing can destroy.

She’s the heiress to Seattle’s most powerful shifter clan. Her destiny is as controlled and certain as moonrise. However, from the moment Alice Corbette encounters the man known as Brand, she will defy all constraint and break every rule to make this dragon-shifter hers. Brand is determined to repay the clan leader he owes his life to. But one taste of Alice’s exquisite spirit will make him question his loyalty—and plunge them both into the middle of a ruthless power play. Their only chance at freedom is a gamble that could risk the future of humans and shifters alike…

Grade: A-

This novella appeals to fans of shifter and paranormal romance novels.

Release today June 26th, 2012 as an ebook for $.99.  If you’re interest in this book, you can purchase it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  More reviews are available from Goodreads.

A copy of this ebook was given to me from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

100 Follower Giveaway

I’ve only been open since April and already Lizzy’s Dark Fiction has 100 followers.  To say thank you, I’d like to give one of my followers a $10 Gift card from Amazon.com.  This gift card is to the US version of Amazon only.  I will send the giftcard through email.  To enter, simply click the Rafflecopter link.  Goodluck!

Click to use the Rafflecopter.