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.

Spellbinding: An Anthology of Magic RELEASED

spellbinding cover

Spellbinding: An Anthology of Magic is available on Amazon Kindle!

Authors: Meredith Anderson, Sara Coates, Alyssa Corbett, Rebecca Crunden, Kristina Decker, John Flynn, Kasey Kubica, L.J. LaBarthe, H.K. Rowe
Genres: Fantasy, Anthology, Urban Fantasy
Links: Amazon | Goodreads (add to your to-read or currently-reading lists)
Available in ebook (and paperback soon).
Summary: Everyone knows magic isn’t real … But what if it was?Nine tales, each one a snapshot of what happens to those who suddenly find themselves entangled with magic. From the wish that grants one sudden, unimaginable power, to a dark hex upon a wood, to faeries with nefarious intentions and hunters seeking blood, this anthology showcases the intricate web of adventure that comes from messing with magic.
My short story is “Promise to Keep” and is about a modern-day mage, Katrina, and a werewolf police captain Alastair! (I’ve always liked that name.) The story has action, urban fantasy, and two-knuckleheads in love — oh, well, they have feelings for each other, but one of them has a problem keeping them from making that first move…
promisetokeep-promo
There are other great stories to read in this anthology by a lot of talented authors. Please grab your copy and support indie writers by leaving feedback! I know you’re enjoy all the diverse stories of magic!
Thanks for the support. Cheers,
H.K. Rowe

COMING SOON: Spirits Abound Anthology

Are you ready for Halloween? Do you like spooky tales?

Coming this ghoulish holiday is a short anthology of four bone chilling stories, perfect to read for those who enjoy tales of things that go bump in the night.

My writer’s group on Facebook has compiled four great stories that we are excited to share with everyone. Many writers are brand new to self publishing, so of course, we need your support! Please get a glimpse of the cover for the upcoming book:

spiritsabound-cover

The anthology will be available to pre-order on Amazon soon! Please come back for more details. I’m so excited to share these stories with you!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe