Sunday, May 31, 2015

Freakquency / Caddell Brown


Reviewed by: Sooz

Genre: Horror/Occult

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Caddell Brown was born and raised in East Texas. Brown enjoys books, movies and television shows. Read more about her at www.caddellbrown.com.

Description:

Southern rock star Rick Chamberland heads home to Louisiana to visit his mother. While there he meets Song Peters, a singer and waitress from a local bar. He’s immediately attracted to her, but their union could spell tragedy as dark family secrets threaten their lives.

Appraisal:

Freakquency has the components to be an interesting book, but wound up feeling incomplete. It had a good set up with Rick Chamberland, who heads back home to Louisiana to visit his mother after the family dog had died. There is something off about this family and Rick and his mother have a strange, disturbing relationship.

Rick meets a Song Peters, a singer and waitress in a local bar, and he’s immediately attracted to her, especially her talent. Brown brings these two together in a realistic, unforced manner, but then the book winds up rushing toward an ending, and missed some important moments between Rick and Song.

Freakquency was dark and focused on black magic and the occult. Part of what made this book frustrating was that the family secrets seemed pretty important, and the ones who would be affected by them the most were the ones kept in the dark the longest.

It seems as though this story is not finished as Brown may want to continue their stories in other books. However, there were some gaps that should have been filled in.

FYI:

There are erotic scenes.

Format/Typo Issues:

Minor issues

Rating: ***Three Stars

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1)/ Marie Lavender


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published nineteen books. Her real love is writing romances. She has published historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.”

For more, visit Ms. Lavender’s website or blog.

Description:

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?”

Appraisal:

Second Nature as an urban fantasy set in a contemporary world much like our own, with the exception of vampires, werewolves, and possibly other creatures we have yet to be introduced to. Desiree is a young divorcee who has immersed herself in her work to start a new life since the divorce. She has friends and family close by but is starting to feel like she needs a change of pace in her life or work. She hasn’t decided which yet.

The story is told expertly through alternating viewpoints so well that I was never confused about whose head we were in. Alec is a vampire, he lost his life from a sloppy vampire who changed him unknowingly on a battle field during the Civil War. So Alex was on his own, without a sire, to show him the ropes on how to be a proper vampire. This turns out well for Alec in the long run. He has made a good life, or unlife, for himself and has been quite successful. He doesn’t kill when he feeds, he erases his victim’s memory of the event and sends them on their way.

When Alec spots Desiree at the annual Jazz and Blues Festival he is mesmerized by her. Not only does she attract the vampire in him, she also attracts the man himself. There is an attraction between Desiree and Alec that neither one of them can deny, no matter how hard Desiree tries to deny it. There is also a bond that neither one of them can explain. Desiree has some kind of psychic connection that Alec has never experienced before with anyone else. This makes the story unique for me. The emotional turmoil that each character experiences is something I appreciated and it drew me into the story. I cared what happened to both of them.

There are a couple of plot twists that kept the story engaging. One I felt was coming, it needed to happen, it was tense and hard to read. However, I am glad it concluded the way that it did. Even though this is book one of a series, there is no cliffhanger. That made me happy. I look forward to more from Desiree and Alec, this story could go so many directions. Great job, Ms. Lavender.

FYI:

This book has sexually explicit scenes that may be unsuitable for some readers.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found a small number of errors.

Rating: ***** Five stars

Friday, May 29, 2015

Beauty and Her Beastly Love / Rosetta Bloom


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Erotic Romance/ Fairy Tale

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Rosetta Bloom is a pen name for a thriller writer whose desire is to tell great stories filled with romance and passion. She loves adding a sexy twist of passion to give old tales new life. Her first endeavor was The Princess, the Pea and the Night of Passion.

To learn more visit Rosetta Bloom’s website.

Description:

In this grown up version of Beauty and the Beast, we meet Beauty, a sheltered young girl living in the French countryside with her father. She doesn't get out much, but her tutor has given her books that she is supposed to read privately. The books all have a rose imprinted on the cover and describe the ways in which men and women love each other. The books give Beauty ideas about pleasures of the flesh.

Just like in the traditional tale, Beauty's father, Pierre, sets off on a journey and ends up taking refuge in an enchanted dwelling. Pierre takes a rose-covered book, like the ones his daughter reads, and is caught by the beast who lives in the manor. Pierre agrees to send his daughter in exchange for the Beast not killing him.

When Beauty arrives, she feels disappointed that she will spend a lifetime imprisoned with this beast, rather than experiencing the type of relationship between a man and a woman described in her books. Only, as she gets to know Beast, she develops an attraction to him. Later, Beauty discovers that she and Beast can take pleasure in each other's company in more ways than she'd ever imagined.”

Appraisal:

I don’t know who Rosetta Bloom is, but she can sure weave an interesting tale. I think I enjoyed this one even more than The Princess and the Pea, and I really loved it. This retelling stays pretty close to the original version of Beauty and the Beast, however it is the added story that makes it so great. I am not talking about the added sex scenes here, of course they were hot and highly enjoyable, which added a whole other level to this tale.

What made this story so enjoyable was the Beast’s back story as well as the sorceress who placed the curse on the Beast. Giselle, Beauty’s late mother’s friend, who brought Beauty the steamy books with only volume numbers for titles and a rose embossed into the leather book cover. Then there was Monsieur Dumas, who promised to take care of Pierre’s debts, for Beauty’s hand in marriage. These are what shot this story through the roof for me. The twists in the plot kept me enthralled until I finished the whole story early the following morning.

This isn’t just another sexy read, it is a story with depth I am sure any adult would enjoy. I know I am enjoying the way Rosetta Bloom retells fairy tales.

FYI:

Beauty and Her Beastly Love is book 2 of Passion-Filled Fairy Tales. It contains graphic sexual encounters, which may not be suitable for all readers.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant errors in editing or formatting.

Rating: ***** Five stars

Thursday, May 28, 2015

No Fools Gold / Jack Petersen


Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Action Adventure

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Jack Petersen lives with his wife, Margie, in southeastern Arizona. Having been privileged to get to know the rocky terrain of the western United States, and its assortment of unforgettable characters, memory asserts that exaggeration in a work of fiction sometimes seems a little tame.

Description:
Zeb Bartholomew has been mining gold in the Arizona desert for 40+ years. He’s a loner, well except for his trusty mule, Sally, but thoughts of quitting are foremost in his mind. He’s getting too old for the work and the long trek back to town, and so is Sally. But when a mining corporation comes to town and threatens his claim, Jeb determines to protect what is his.

Appraisal:

This isn’t a long story. I guess in today’s world of pigeon-holing, it’d be considered a novelette. I’d rather think of it as a well written piece of escapism. I finished No Fools Gold in two sittings, staying up way past my bedtime on both occasions. The story is simple and often told—old man uses his experience and wiles to outwit a modern corporation. But the writing style and the pacing pulled me along and turned the pages for me. If this were an audio book, I’d imagine Sam Elliott would be a good choice of voice.

Over two nights, I grew to love Zeb (although I doubt he’d like to hear me say that), and Sally, and the Widow Gray.

Format/Typo Issues:

A few typos but nothing that disturbed my enjoyment.

Rating: ***** Five stars

#Free for your #Kindle, 5/28/2015

The author of each of these books has indicated their intent to schedule these books for a free day for the Kindle versions today on Amazon. Sometimes plans change or mistakes happen, so be sure to verify the price before hitting that "buy me" button.


Alive From New York by Edward G. Talbot




No Good Deed by M.P. McDonald




Author's interested in having their free book featured either here on a Thursday or a sister site on a Monday, visit this page for details.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dreaming Deep / Anonymous-9


Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller/Supernatural

Approximate word count: 16-17,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Anonymous-9 is the pen name used by a Californian named … I won’t tell you her name. If you really want to know, it slips in her bio at the end of this book. Anonymous-9 also has three novels and a couple short story collections available.

Description:

The hardworking men and women at the Port of Long Beach, California have no idea what’s waiting for them in the deep water. Tugboat Captain Ed Angelus discovers the horror first in a death match aboard the Lady Bulldog, a high-tech z-drive vessel. But when the Coast Guard and Homeland Security arrive on the scene, there’s no trace, and Ed is declared delusional and unfit for duty. A few months later Ed’s former crewmen dredge up something chilling from the depths of Alamitos Bay—something horrific and possibly paranormal. Soon, the truth turns into ugly lies by authorities unwittingly manipulated by a dirty bureaucrat masterminding the investigation. Overnight, Ed finds himself a public enemy at the center of extraterrestrial black ops—outrunning the law until he can warn the world.”

Appraisal:

I’m going to guess that fans of H.P. Lovecraft (who I’ve never read, although I at least recognize the name) will pick up on subtle things in Dreaming Deep that flew right past me. It was a good read, regardless. As the author explains in an explanation at the book’s conclusion, it started as a short story in a collection that was a tribute to Lovecraft (later available as a standalone short called Just So You Know I’m Not Dead) and now expanded to novelette length.

Although it has horrific elements, as you’d expect due to the Lovecraft-ian origin, Dreaming Deep reads like a thriller as much as a typical horror story. I found it an intriguing thought experiment. I don’t want to give details not in the book description, so need to be vague, but consider the possibility that things happen to you which if you talk about them would be interpreted as a sign that you’re insane. However, they’re really happening. How do you react? How do you deal with it? A short, fast-paced read that comes to a satisfying conclusion, while setting up for more to come.

FYI:

Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dragon’s Web / Lynne Cantwell


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Urban Fantasy / World Mythology / Coming of Age

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Availability
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
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Author:

Lynne Cantwell is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited where she shares her knowledge about Indie publishing and promotion. She has a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University and is a former broadcast journalist who has written for CNN and Mutual/NBC Radio News, among other places. Ms. Cantwell currently lives near Washington, DC.
Ms. Cantwell is the author of The Pipe Woman Chronicles, which includes five books, The Land, Sea, Sky series, which includes three books, and other works of fiction and non-fiction alike.”

You can connect with her at her website or on her Facebook page.

Description:

Sage Curtis, reluctant Savior of the Earth, has been yanked around by the gods her whole life. Even though the Native American spirit Thunderbird has given her certain magical gifts, all she wants to do is finish her engineering degree so she can fix Earth’s climate with science. Not with laser eyes. And definitely not by flying.

Then Veles, the god of the Slavic underworld, invades her dreams. He intends to battle her until the Earth is no more, in the belief that it’s the only way to reboot the planet – never mind the collateral damage.

Even avoiding this battle will require the use of magic, and Sage is woefully unprepared. But a lot of people have her back: her parents, whose interactions with the gods are the stuff of legend; her brother Webb, who knows the future, mostly; and Rafe Orloff, transfer student and Trickster in his own right. Together, they have a chance of saving Earth from this crazy dragon god. But their success rests on one thing: whether she wants to or not, Sage is going to have to fly.”

Appraisal:

Sage and Webb, her younger brother, are Naomi and Joseph’s children who were born at the end of The Pipe Woman Chronicles. Since Sage was born she has been told she is destined by prophecy to save the world. That is a huge weight to carry around and she has developed a sassy spiteful attitude where the prophecy is involved. All she wants to do continue her education majoring in environmental engineering at the University of Colorado. Her goal is to solve the problem of climate change with science, not magic. Sage wants a normal life, which isn’t likely to ever happen.

I loved Sage’s sassy attitude as she brings us up-to-date in her life. It made me grin, she is smart, competent, and a bit na├»ve. She has a can do attitude until it comes to flying in her Thunderbird form. Her classmates are well developed with the newest roommate being a bit mysterious. Sage and I both found Rafe intriguing and as his character is slowly revealed, even more so. Naomi and Joseph try to step in to protect Sage and handle this new situation with the Gods, as any parent would. However, they are quickly relegated to a support system backup with Sage leading the protest.

Webb, Sage’s younger brother, is a heyoka, a sacred clown. Heyoka’s can speak truths, they see the future and try to teach using satire. Webb, however uses art to convey. So, in a sense they have to do things backwards knowing the outcomes and having to figure out how to get there with the best possible results. The future is not set in stone and can be changed with the correct actions. Webb is an enigma to me, I need more time with him.

The story has several interesting twists that I didn’t expect. Some new Gods are introduced and several members of Rafe’s family take on major roles. I also felt like the story moved at a nice pace considering the problems that arose. Ms. Cantwell has done an excellent job weaving this timely story together with several players. She also sets up possibilities for the next book as well. I am looking forward to the next installment.

FYI:

There a couple or three F-bombs dropped.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant proofing or editing errors.

Rating: ***** Five stars

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Weight of Guilt / Jon Ripslinger


Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Thriller/Young Adult

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Availability
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Author:

A retired high school teacher, Jon Ripslinger figured his experience gave him enough insight into the young adult mind to write books aimed at them. Since retiring he's had eight young adult novels published.

Description:

Driving home from a bonfire party, eighteen-year-old John Hawk crashes, killing his girlfriend, Riley. Bullied and tormented at school, and crushed by his guilty conscience, John transfers to a school on the banks of the Mississippi River, where he attracts the eye of the principal’s daughter, Megan. Though he’s reluctant, she convinces him to be her prom date. The morning after prom, Principal Jones reports Megan missing. Four days later, her body is recovered from the river, and John becomes the prime suspect in her death.

Charley Cotton, Megan’s best friend, knows that Megan had a secret, but she doesn’t trust John because of his past. John is desperate to avoid adding to the shame he carries for Riley’s death, though—it’s destroying his life. With Charley’s help, he learns that others in Megan’s life had a motive to keep her quiet. But every effort they make to uncover the truth edges them closer to a desperate murderer with everything to lose.”

Appraisal:

This book has a lot going on. It's a thriller, with a mystery (how did Megan die) at it's heart, and has a bit of romance and a coming-of-age vibe to boot. Themes revolving around personal responsibility, redemption, family, and friendship setup some subtle lessons for the reader who notices while keeping up a quick pace and ratcheting up the tension if you just want a thriller.

The point-of-view character alternates between John and Charley giving us different takes on what is going on as we get into the mind of each. I didn't have any issues keeping track of which character's POV was current, even in those rare chapters where each took a turn leading the way. Both John and Charley were appealing. Not without quirks and faults, but both likable and kids you could feel for and hoped to see get through this experience intact. A good read, whether you're in the obvious target demographic or even, like me, more than just a few years past.

FYI:

Some adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Gold (Farther Than We Dreamed Book 5) / Noah K Mullette-Gillman


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Space Opera / Science Fiction / Epic Fantasy

Approximate word count: 25-30,000 words

Availability
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Author:

Noah Mullette-Gillman was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He spent his childhood there, as well as in the town of Manly, Australia, and the woods of Upstate New York. He earned a multidisciplinary degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.”

Mr. Mullette-Gillman is also the author of Luminous and Ominous, The Dead Have Ruled Earth For 200 Years, Magic Makes You Strange, The Confessions of Zeuspater, and a mythological short story The White Hairs.

To learn more check out his website or friend him on Facebook.

Description:

Barely finding his feet amid a new reality in a new galaxy, Charlie Daemon must investigate the mystery of his planet and starship, the U.U.S. Shamballa, a crew made up of the greatest historical figures of the 22nd through 29th centuries, and discover if they are alone in the Universe.”

Appraisal:

In this episode, past relationships are further explored as well as new worlds. Our crew is off to find more fuel reserves for the U.U.S. Shamballa. The world they find is a frozen planet with curious creatures and strange properties. As such they can’t stay to do the actual mining themselves so they employ their robot forces to do the work. Mullette-Gillman has quite an active imagination and employs it well here.

Captain Daemon makes some personal advancements and further exploration of another city on U.S.S. Shamballa is explored. Wu Gwei goes into fight mode when he makes an assessment of a situation he was a war lord in his previous life. Daemon has to exert his position as Captain to shut him down. Crew member Kalligeneia Athanos’ past life is examined more closely and we learn her history. I am enjoying these flashbacks into each crew member’s life.

Tension is ratcheted up a notch when the crew wonders if they have a traitor on board when alien visitors show up and the shields of the U.U.S. Shamballa have been lowered for them to enter. There is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of this section of the story. Nayara Borges is still unaccounted for and I am getting tired of hearing about Amber. She is Charlie Daemon’s girlfriend who died in the last epic war before Daemon materialized on the U.S.S. Shamballa.

I’m not sure I approve of these serialized editions of stories many authors seem to be leaning towards. Reading the four episode bundle was fine, but reading one novella with a partial story at a time is taxing. I want more story. I may have to wait for the bundles to come out before reviewing. I feel like certain story arcs should be completed with no cliffhangers between segments of a story. It’s a personal thing with me and I was tempted to remove a star.

Format/Typo Issues:

A small number of proofing errors.

Rating: **** Four stars

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Reprise Review: To Katie With Love / Erica Lucke Dean


Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Romance

Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Availability    
Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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Author:

After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica Lucke Dean moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180 lb lap dog, and at least one ghost.

For more, visit the author's website.

Description:

“Banker Katie James has a serious thing for romance novels. She’d almost rather settle for a fictional boyfriend than risk her heart on a flesh-and-blood man. Besides, the only real guy she’s remotely interested in is her rich, unattainable client, the mysterious Cooper Maxwell.

Looking less like the ultra-conservative man she knows and more like a drop-dead sexy character from one of her books, Cooper crashes Katie’s 29th birthday party. But one too many drinks lands Katie in uncharted territory… Cooper’s bedroom!

Drunk on love, Katie dives headfirst into the relationship only to discover that Cooper is keeping secrets… dangerous ones. As if things couldn’t get worse, her meddling mother makes a surprise visit, digging up a whole new set of problems.

Who would have guessed having an assassin for a boyfriend would be the least of her worries?”

Appraisal:

Romance novels have a basic formu … no, let’s call it something else. Time tested patterns. The basic blueprint is boy meets girls. Sparks fly (or sometimes just the opposite at first, but the sparks come before long). Then, we have the big misunderstanding (probably due to poor communication) and the couple seems headed their separate ways. Last, something causes them to realize they misunderstood each other, get back together and, go riding into the sunset. (Actually that last part is a Western. I wanted to make sure you were paying attention. Replace with “live happily ever after”)

But really, all novels fit a pattern. We’re so aware of it with Romance because of the relatively small number of templates for a novel; this is by far the most popular one. However, this means that for the story to feel fresh, an author has to come up with great characters and situations. They need to feel like real people. The situations have to be realistic. In To Katie With Love, Erica Lucke Dean came up with some great characters.

Katie is a character who should feel familiar to a big part of the target audience. In fact, many will see something of themselves in Katie. Other than the obvious gender difference, I did. She’s an avid reader, introverted, and will often choose a vicarious adventure in a romance novel over the alternatives on her social calendar. The people she works with are quirky, yet real enough to remind me of past co-workers. And her bank job gives her plenty of chances to meet men with both money and looks, especially the mysterious Cooper Maxwell.

The situations Katie gets herself into seem almost larger than life, yet not so much as to have me disbelieving. I was surprised multiple times as the story was working its way to a conclusion, never guessing the answer to the big question every reader is going to have by that point, nor guessing how (or even whether) Katie was going to get that ride into the sunset.

FYI:

A small amount of adult language and some mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Friday, May 22, 2015

Counterfeit Youth / Narbeh Avanessian


Reviewed by: Michael Thal

Genre: Science Fiction

Approximate word count: Availability
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Author:

Graduating from Pepperdine University with a Masters in Business Administration in 2012, Narbeh Avanessian became the Product Marketing Manager at Digital Extremes, a Los Angeles firm. Avanessian enjoys his downtime writing science fiction and studying video games.

Description:

Alexander the Great is said to have uncovered a healing “river of paradise” in the fourth century B.C. Juan Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth in Florida circa 1474. Throughout history man has been seeking the key to immortality. Thus is the premise of Counterfeit Youth.

By the tender age of 18, Jackson Riley had witnessed the early deaths of his parents. The multi-billion dollar heir of a major corporation became obsessed in finding the secret of longevity. However, once he went public with his scientific breakthrough, the bedlam began.

Narbeh Avanessian takes readers from Jackson’s early days in 2036 as he faced his father’s battle with lung cancer to 2052 when privately funded researchers studying Jackson’s blood and DNA uncover the secret Alexander the Great and Ponce de Leon couldn’t find.

Appraisal:

Counterfeit Youth is well written and edited. The premise of the story held this reader’s interest from beginning to end. The two areas of weakness in this novella were character dialogue and character development.

Too often the dialogue seemed forced and unnatural. Jackson Riley’s obsession, a kind of madness, was told to the reader, not shown. Girlfriend Nicole wasn’t three-dimensional and felt like a stick-character. When Nicole returned after leaving Riley 14 years later, her words and reaction to Jackson’s success didn’t follow her behavior. This reader perceived her to be a deeper character, but the author neglected to bring that out in dialogue and storyline.

However, the plot was compelling, the page-count around 70 pages made this novella a worthwhile reading experience.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Dwarf and the Twins-Snow White and Rose Red/ Katharina Gerlach


Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Fairy Tale/ Fantasy/ Romance/ Young Adult

Approximate word count: 15-16,000 words

Availability
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
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Author:

Katharina Gerlach was born in Germany in 1968. She and her three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as her guide, the tomboy learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods… For a while, reality interfered with her writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science she returned to her vocation. She likes to write Fantasy, Science Fiction and Historical Novels for all age groups.

At present, she is writing at her next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children and a dog.”

Learn more about Katharina Gerlach on her website or follow her on Facebook.

Description:

When Martin helps a pregnant woman to flee from the king’s men, he doesn’t know that the twins she bears will change his solitary life forever. What if the Brother's Grimm misunderstood the dwarf in the original tale of ‘Snow White and Rose Red’?

The book includes a bonus story and the original fairy tale.”

Appraisal:

Who doesn’t love retold fairy tales? I love the imaginative way Katharina Gerlach told this story. With an evil greedy King slowly destroying his kingdom and his fairy godmother. You don’t remember a fairy godmother in this tale? Well there’s one in this story and she plays an important role. Many years ago she gave Martin a magical beard, and he has used it well to save his hide many times.

When Martin, our dwarf in this story, sees Adele, quite pregnant with twins, running from the King’s search party he hides her with his magic. They have just killed her husband. Here she gives birth to two girls and she asks the dwarf to name them. He names them after the two rose bushes he finds the next morning. He pricks one finger of each baby and imbues the rose bushes with magic to protect the girls and Adele. He plants the roses outside their cave home to hide the entrance. He names the girls Rose Red and Snow White.

Martin can see the King’s son following in his father’s footsteps unless he can intervene and show him his father’s true character. This is where Ms. Gerlach spins her version of the girls growing up and Adele’s late night talks with Martin. It’s enthralling and magical. Kids will love this retelling as much as adults.

This book also includes an extra story, Snow White’s Father, which is a little more closely related to Disney’s version of Snow White, but with an interesting twist. It took me a second or two to wrap my head around this version because my mind hadn’t made the transition to the new story. Snow White is only the nickname given to Princess Anna by the seven dwarves. I had to laugh-out-loud at the last sentence of this story. :D I was also pleased that the Katharina Gerlach included The Original: Snow White and Rose Red by the Brothers Grimm at the end.

FYI:

The Dwarf and the Twins: Snow White and Rose Red is Book 1 of the series Treasures Retold. I think all three stories in this novelette could be shared with young children.

Format/Typo Issues:

I noticed no proofing or formatting issues.

Rating: ***** Five stars