Magazine Review “Indie Bites, Vol. 1: Vampires & Voyages”

Cover of “Indie Bites” from Goodreads

As an indie author myself, I try to support independent authors and new authors who are trying to do what they love. There’s nothing stronger than word of mouth, right? It is also helpful that I’m such a bibliophile, LOL.

Silver Sun Books published their first Magazine anthology of short stories. Their first theme was “Vampires & Voyages” and comprised of short stories that used one theme or both. The cover on the anthology is spooky and gorgeous with ominous crows in a misty forest. As this is their first magazine, they are taking submissions for their second one with the theme “Mermaids & Myth”.

Here is their submission page for more information.

Now, onto the review! Please be aware there are spoilers.

Ah, these little tales were lovely! I enjoyed every one of them, and each one had their own individual charm to it. I will say that I was enthralled for each one, and none of them at all was lacking. Such a good mix of writing here for sure.

My favorite of all of them is by far “Enduring Wrecks” by Chris Dunsten. Holy crap, this was so good. It was like the perfect short story… a piece of heavenly cake with a well-rounded main character and depth of story and the lush environments the character finds himself in. Short stories are HARD, so reading this I was not only completely addicted to this story and wanted to know more about this character, but I also felt like WOW, how did this author write the PERFECT short story (and can he tell me his secret)? It left me wanting more, BUT I was still satisfied; it was just the right beginning, middle and ending. The ending… wow, it was such a beautiful, enduring gesture. I really loved how just one character grew so much in this little story. And the characters really had fleshed out personalities with their dialog and descriptions, and probably no easy feat in a short story format. I really want to read more by this author. AHHH, I NEED TO READ THIS OVER AGAIN IT WAS SO GOOD.

I also really enjoyed “Something Like Absolution” by Rebecca Crunden. I really loved how the main character was able to go back to his marriage and it was still strong after all this stolen time, after the hardships and gaps. They WERE. STILL. IN. LOVE. And it was so strong too. And the ending, it really fit the overall story and ended it with a pretty bow. No more lingering conflict, just a rock-solid marriage and two lovely men overcoming this supernatural hiccup through their unwavering love. Although thinking your lover was dead for so long, it would be HARD to go back to but it was like, “Hi honey you’re home, let me just kick out this other mug and let’s catch up.” I think the pacing for that, even with the insecurities and awkwardness between them, was well done and fit the story’s pace as well as the believability.

“Living Underground” by Josie Jaffrey was eerie but interesting. There was a lot of moments where I just wanted to know more about this couple. Very cool, engaging little story.

“A Dramatic Gesture” by Matthew MacLauchlan was intense. I was on the edge of my seat. It felt really like Grimm fairytales in its format. What great descriptions and pacing of this story. (I kind of want to read this to my daughter…haha)

“A Little Drop of Blood Goes a Long Way” by NJ Simmonds was fun, though the beginning was a bit…dark, I loved to explore more of Jemima’s character through the rest of the story. I was scratching my head to her reasons for suicide, but her encounter and interaction with a vampire really lightened the mood, and it seemed so realistic. I love the portrayal of a main Ace character. And the ending, even though it was…a positive in the way Jemima lived out her undead life, the payoff was gloriously sadistic. (We all have that one person in our life we’d want to do this too…). And the vampire’s name. I LOVED her reaction to it. I laughed out loud because yeah, what is with vampires and hokey names?

“Another Interview with a Vampire” by Sam Hall was also interesting. This was the one story I just wanted to be longer. I wanted to know more about the vampire, to see more of an interaction, maybe even some tension, UST, between him and the narrator/main character. I do like this author’s take on the theme here, another “this vampire is not like the normal trope” kind of thing, A vampire with a heart of gold, sort of thing. Fantastic.

Such a great little anthology! I can’t wait to see more from this publication!

This review is also posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads.

INDIE BOOK GIVEAWAY!

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Good news! I’m doing another Book Giveaway! Along with other Indie authors, we’re pooling together copies of our books, paperbacks or ebooks, to give away to new readers. I have four paperback copies of Unbridled in the giveaway so there’s a good chance to win!

If you comment on the Livejournal community post at self_published the books you want to try winning, you’ll have a chance to win some free new stories from hardworking, talented authors! No payment is necessary and if you win any paperbacks, shipping will be free. If you don’t have a Livejournal account, you can use OpenID.

Please follow this link to enter the giveaway! Check out all the cool books you could win from many indie authors! The Giveaway ends September 15th.

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Eric commands it!

 

Book Giveaway: Touch of Death

It’s been awhile since I posted here. I apologize for that. It’s been a busy year for me and I’m hoping to have more time in 2018 to post here. I do maintain an active private personal blog on Dreamwidth/LJ so that makes it harder to juggle social media outlets. Plus having a 1 year old doesn’t always give me adequate time.

I am 98% done with Mod Fury. My goal is to get it out before the end of 2017. Nanowrimo really helped me get far with it and even start the next in the series, even though I didn’t complete the book.

Now the purpose of this post. I am a huge proponent of helping Indie Authors. I am a member of a self-published group and have met some great people there. One of the authors is doing a giveaway and since Goodreads is going to charge for giveaways, she’s doing her own at her blog and at this community. Please, if you enjoy layered characters, action and well done world building, please join her Giveaway. Her book is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.

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Anyone can leave a comment to enter! Costs nothing and I’ll ship internationally.

Giveaway // Book Summary // Share Link

 

Thank you!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

Books – My Heavy Obsession

As a book lover, I never realized how obsessed I was with reading until my husband and I had to pack up our house because we’re trying to sell at the end of the month.

Yes, ten bookshelves full of books seems excessive to normal people, but I never thought it was anything bordering on a weird obsession. Now I have to put my books away into storage, and placing them in boxes not only is a taxing endeavor, it’s making my house feel very lonely. As we’ve packed up two rooms of books, I walk by missing the perfectly orderly spines of books and books with titles and authors that are much beloved. I know for some time I will have to accept that my prized books are going into storage, but that doesn’t mean I don’t experience some separation anxiety.

On my nightstand, I have a stack of ten or so books that I’m clinging to just for comfort that will not go into storage (I dare my husband to pry them from my cold dead hands). Some I’m in the middle of reading, some I may read while this whole moving/selling process is going on. I keep reminding myself, “I still have all the books on my kindle.”

But I never realized until how much my books comforted me. Yes, I will probably never finish every book. Or, if I do, I will be well into my 90s. But in any case, they are not just a decoration to me. They are portals to worlds that give me comfort knowing they are there, ready for me to jump into them and escape.

Moving on its own is stressful endeavor, but taking them out of their homes on shelves definitely exhibits a sort of emptiness. I only hope in the next place we live I can proudly display them again, and I’m also hoping that I never have to move again, that the next house is the ONE and my books never have to be stored or thrown into boxes again.

In addition to that I realized something else, put all those books in boxes, and damn those things are heavy!

If I have to put my books away, I better damn well get well-toned arms out of moving them all!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe