Two Novella Reviews

I often buy other Carina Press books just to see what else they are buying. Here are two that I’ve read in the last month. I read a third one as well that I liked even better than these, a long epic fantasy that I’ll post about next time.

YesterdaysHeroesYesterday’s Heroes
by Heather Long
Genre: Superhero

Ebook

This episodic novella is the start of a new series from Heather Long. I enjoyed it but whew! I was not prepared by the cover or blurb for how very hawt it is. I should have been: when they say passionate, they mean it.

Michael is the leader of a super team sent back in time to stop an event that makes the world the nightmare it has turned into. Rory is a super-something who specializes in calculating probabilities–sounds lame but she can manipulate those probabilities as well, resulting in super fighting abilities. The chemistry between Michael and Rory is so intense that his team suspects emotional manipulation–except Rory is affected as well.

This is a time travel story that has fun with the usual time travel paradoxes. I enjoyed it and will buy the next book in the series to see what the author is going to do with it. The move toward episodic stories intrigues me, so I’ll stay with this one for another book or two.

Recommended if you enjoy science fiction romance or fantasy romance.

Heart of the Dragon's RealmHeart of the Dragon’s Realmby Karalynn Lee
Genre: Fantasy

Ebook

Heart of the Dragon’s Realm is a poignant tale of a young woman named Kimri who is traded into marriage by her brother, the king of their land. When she thinks to never forgive him, yet looks back to wave one last time, I knew I would like this character.

On the way to the land of her husband-to-be, her party is attacked by soldiers from an enemy kingdom. However, Kimri manages to take their leader hostage, and he turns out to be Prince Herrol, the younger and  disposable son of the enemy king.

You might think this develops into a love triangle, but once you meet the king of the Dragon Realm, King Tathan, you know Herrol is no threat to him. Tathan tells Kimri that he will court her for a year, and if she does not want to marry him at the end of that time, she is free to return to her kingdom with no penalty to her brother.

This is a long novella/short novel. It has a lot of twists, and characters do a lot of things you don’t expect, and they will probably do some things you won’t approve of, but never in an amoral way (except one villain). The writing is just beautiful, and the romance between Kimri and Tathan slow and mostly sweet. Tathan’s kingdom is idyllic and almost crime free–and you find out why in the end. It is a standalone story, and I enjoyed it very much.

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One final word: the awesome covers for both of these stories did a great job selling these books for me.

Writer's Block – When the Story Rings False

I am sure people have writer’s block for various reasons. Physical exhaustion, idea mill broken, lack of interest in own story; etc. All of these have either stopped me, or at least slowed me down. But for me, by far the biggest reason I get writer’s block is when the story is starting to ring false.

Sometime, when I am writing, I suddenly stop when I realize a character will not do what I expected. But darn it–when they do that they disrupt my whole story. I fight them, and try to make them act according to my (always sketchy) plot.

And then the muse falls silent.

Well, I was writing along quite nicely a few weeks ago, when I realized that my main character is not going to fall in love as planned and scheduled. She fell in love with my other lead guy. I brushed it off, and tried to continue. But I didn’t try very hard because I knew it was pointless. I decided to take a short break from the story. So I worked on a different story and finished it up. I read a long epic fantasy. But I kept thinking of this story and another one, where something similar happened.

Most of the time, my characters adore each other as much as I thought they would. This happened with Gretchen and Lars in The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf, and I had zero problem with Talia and Willard in The Sevenfold Spell. But others require more work. I’ve now figured out the new plots for both stories. One is a fairy tale novella that I just started, and the other is my time travel novel, which I have been halfway through for an entire year.

Now I need to decide which one to work on first. Probably the novella, because it should be quicker to finish. Hopefully I can write it in a month or two, let it sit for two weeks, then do some revisions, get beta reads, do more revisions and send it off by the end of spring.

 

Comment Issues

Anne was kind enough to inform me that comments are not working here on my blog. I guess that’s why no one seemingly wanted to participate in my first Did You Read It. I was crushed! (just kidding)

I’ll work on getting it fixed this weekend, but I cannot duplicate the error myself. It seems to work in Firefox and my version of Internet Explorer. I’ll see if I need to install an upgrade to my WordPress, but I just upgraded it.

Mystified!

A Me Moment, Upcoming Stuff, and Your Me Moment

May I indulge in a Me Moment?

Yesterday, I was collecting preorder links to The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf to put on the book page when I found myself staring blankly at a review by Publishers Weekly. I read it with some trepidation, but I was delighted to see that they only had nice things to say.

The links to the Magic Mirror preorder pages are under the appropriate cover on the sidebar, or you can find them here.

Me Moment complete.

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I’ve been sampling my peers’ books over at Carina Press, so I’ll put up some mini-reviews for two tomorrow. They are both novellas. Other than those two, I have not finished any books lately. I did discover a treat–a book that I downloaded to my ipad and started, but which I forgot to pull over to my Kindle. So I have 3 or 4 books that I’ve started reading lately, but have not finished. It’s not the books; it’s me. My attention span is suffering lately.

A few weeks ago I proposed a Did you Read It? feature, in which we would discuss recently-reviewed books. Since a number of you read The Furies of Calderon, shall we make it the subject of our first discussion? I did not finish it myself, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on it. If several of you express interest, I’ll put up the discussion post on Friday. Maybe I can lure my sister into the discussion as well.

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And now, it is your turn for a Me Moment. Have you celebrated an accomplishment, recently? Lost ten pounds? Passed a test? Finished a project? If so, leave a comment and indulge in a Me Moment of your own!

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis.

I had it last week. That explains why no Monday review this week, or much of anything. I wasted almost an entire week’s worth of sick time ALREADY this year. On this stupid disease that was probably caused by something I ate.

DANG that makes me SO ANGRY. Do you have any idea how often I wash my hands? My once-beautiful hands are prematurely dry and chapped because of my hand-washing. And yet, I still get this disease.

I have been DRAGGING myself to work for the past two days because the fever and other stuff is gone, but the perpetual stomach upset remains. Tonight will be a Zantac night.

I PROMISE when I put up my next post, I will be in a better mood! 🙂