Day of Sacrifice (Day of Sacrifice #1)

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With only three days left until her twenty-first birthday, her Day of Sacrifice, Flora Hamilton should be living it up. But when another Supernatural family puts a hit on her she’s forced to go into hiding with Julian, her gorgeous new Guardian Angel. Sometimes running for your life isn’t so bad. More
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Price: Free!

Published: Oct. 08, 2010
Words: 15,210
Language: English
ISBN: 9781452344898
About Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, the Penny Black trilogy, the Day of Sacrifice Omnibus, Crossing, The Toilet Business - a collection of humorous essays, and multiple short stories. She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody. Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her two young children with old people names. When she's not writing or thinking about writing, she's at Crossfit, lifting heavy things and cursing the inventor of the Burpee.

Also in Day of Sacrifice Omnibus

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: hrhsophia on Sep. 01, 2012 : star star star star
Fascinating premise, still trying to decide if to purchase full series.
(review of free book)

Review by: Carol on May 24, 2012 : star star star star
The first of a serial, the book ends like a chapter, not a novella. Interesting plot and characters.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jutzie on April 18, 2012 : star star star star star
Day Of Sacrifice by S.W. Benefiel
Book 1
In the world of the supernaturals they have been giving their first born up so their family can prosper. When the first born hits their 21st birthday...it's all over. Flora Hamilton is three days away and it looks like her last days are going to tough ones. Her friend Aiden is dying today, she ticked her Guardian off and has been left alone...which is a big no no...her twin sister has been trying to get hold her all night because there is a hit out for Flora. So it looks like she is on the run and at the moment alone.

Julian is happy that Aiden is the last sacrifice he had to guard. It's too hard walking them to their death. He's ready to go back to his family's homestead and relax...only it looks like one more sacrifice needs saving before she dies in three days. What could he do but grab the beautiful Flora and bring her to safety...or is being with him not so safe?

This is a free book. It's a quick read and just the opening for the next books in the series:
Rebellion, Dormant and Takeover.
**Sensual situations and language.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Tim Morrell on Oct. 03, 2011 : star star star star
Very well written story set within a modern world close to ours, but with some witchcraft, angels, and worship of gods in a caliber close to some of our mythological gods. I liked the story quite a bit, good character development, a unique plot line, and interesting mythology, but I hated the ending. I think it's supposed to be a cliffhanger, but really it's pulled off as seeming like the author just decided she was done writing and tied off the end abruptly. Interested in reading what's next and other writings from this author, but hoping the endings or cliffhangers get better.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jessica E. Subject on April 18, 2011 : star star star star star
*This is a combined review of the first three books in the Day of Sacrifice series.*

The story begins with Flora waking up - naked after an all-night bender - to her Guardian telling her she quits. A message left for Flora from her sister indicates she is in danger and needs a Guardian more than ever. It is only three days until her day of sacrifice. As the oldest child, at 21 she must give her life for her family. She must be there and alive to grant her family favors from the Gods. It has been tradition in all paranormal families for centuries, but she soon finds out there are many secrets her family her kept from her, including the fact that she is not her family's true sacrifice.

The series follows Flora's struggle to stay alive and her fight against the gods to end the horrible tradition of sacrificing young adults. The Prophecy begins with immediate conflict and drew me quickly into the story. The background information was presented in the action but did not slow down the pacing of the story. Rebellion fits right in where The Prophesy left off, but also works as a stand-alone. The pace is slower in the beginning, but speeds up to keep the story moving. Dormant is another stand-alone but a great addition to the Day of Sacrifice story. While there is not as much action, this story carried the same intensity by playing with my mind.

Each story brings about the development of two different characters and their relationship with each other. They are all involved in the fight against the gods, but each one finds and/or fights for love.

Day of Sacrifice is a fabulous paranormal romance series. I look forward to reading the next story, Takeover, which is set to release in July 2011.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Kait Nolan on March 19, 2011 : star star star star
I really enjoyed the world Benefiel set up in this short novella. The heroine was relatable, the hero yummy, and the potential for future installments great. Looking forward to Rebellion!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Yllektra V. on Jan. 16, 2011 : star star star star
Review for both books: Day of Sacrifice and Rebellion/ crossposted from I Work For Books

I found these books over at Smashwords, looking for something short and exciting to read and let me tell you, they didn't disappoint. These two short stories/novellas follow Flora Hamilton, the first-born of the Supernatural Hamilton family and for that, the one who has to be sacrificed on her 21st birthday to the gods, so that their grace continues to provide the family with fortune and luck and prosperity.
Original? I thought so too. I hadn't read anything like that before.

Flora's birthday is in three days and she is trying to live life as passionately as she can, indulging in alcohol consumption, going out and generally being a bit wild... It is after a party that she wakes up hangover and beat. So much that her "guardian angel" quits and it is at that point in time, where she stands so vulnerable that an assassin comes after her. Why? you could ask, she would be sacrificed in three days anyways...
Well, supernatural families rely solely on these sacrifices for the continuation of the prosperity and the maintenance of their extraordinary powers. The sooner they make use of the good fortune, the sooner it exhausts and since a sacrifice is made every 21 years, there is a possibility that the grace of the gods will be exhausted sooner than that. This is what happened to the Fitzerald family, rival to the Hamiltons. They have no more grace left but Mr Fitzerald is hungry for power and as Mr Hamilton doesn't wish to do business with him anymore, he seeks revenge by killing his firstborn, hence taking away his grace as well.

Lucky for Flora, even though she knew she was to be killed, she didn't just have mindless fun, but dedicated herself to practicing the fire magic she possessed, becoming quite the formidable witch. As soon as her sister, Fauna, warns her she barely escapes the assassins attempts to save her, while at the same time her best friend, Aiden, gets sacrificed because he just turned 21. His Guardian, Julian, watched both Aiden and Flora grow up so he hurries to rescue her when she is attacked again out in the street.
Hoping for help, they go to Flora's father but he doesn't want to hear of anything else than preparations for her sacrifice. Consequently, Flora and Julian flee and it is there in his own safe house that they bond and Julian is compelled to reveal to her what is really going on... Something that leads to ... Rebellion...

In the second story we follow Julian and Flora as they try to overturn the regime and make sure that supernatural families are no longer obliged to sacrifice their firstborn child. You'd think most if not all people would jumo at this opportunity and join the rebellion army to save their children right?
Well think again...Some supernaturals really DO NOT want to lose their powers, the first being Fitzerald and Aiden's dad, Mr Grant. His wife and Aiden's mother, Cara Grant, being a powerful witch and a wicked spell/potion maker joins the rebellion and what happens is magical and tragic and dramatic and everything in between.

Can you tell I loved these stories?
I can't believe I have to wait till April for the next story! :(
Even though the first story was 28 pages and the second 38, they felt almost complete. Of course, I' d love it if we could have them expanded and elaborated on, so that we could get an even better feel of Flora, Julian, Fauna, Clark, Abel, Cara, Alexander, Meagan...
The language was nice and it flowed harmoniously, the dialogues and plot were believable and young adults acted the way we expect them to act. It was packed with action with a dash of romance (a generous dash) and adventure and drama, with a little sprinkling of humor. XD

In just a few pages, the author helped us create our own image of the characters in our mind and really get inside their head, as it was described through different people. Not exactly POV, but the characters feelings and thoughts were described.
All characters apart from Grant and Fitzerald were likable and I have indeed, difficulty in choosing my favorite character. Of course, Flora and Julian started everything, but Cara and Abel were adorable and I'd love to know more about Fauna and Clark who are clearly meant to be!

Verdict: For short stories, Day of Sacrifice and Rebellion were a fascinating read that kept me at the edge of my seat never wanting to stop reading. It was a real bummer that we had a cliffhanger and we have to wait for April.. I want the new story now darnit! :P

Rating: About 4 and 4 1/2 stars! Don't miss the chance to read them
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Christel Grady on Jan. 13, 2011 : star star star star star
What a great hook! Love the characters and the basic premise of the plot. I'm intrigued, and happily moving on to Rebellion!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: A.M. Harte on Jan. 12, 2011 : star star star
Flora Hamilton is three days away from turning 21. She’s also three days away from her Day of Sacrifice, the day she must give up her life in a blood-stained ritual in order to ensure the gods bless her family. With only three days left to live, she should be out partying, but a rivalling family is out to make sure Flora won’t live to see 21. Forced on the run with handsome guardian angel Julian, Flora is beginning to realize that what she has prepared for her whole life may be nothing more than a lie…. and that there’s something worth living for, after all.

Day of Sacrifice is a fast-paced romantic fantasy novella which serves mainly as a teaser into the world S.W. Benefiel is developing, a world of supernaturals, powerful families, blood-hungry gods, and an almost barbaric ritual of sacrificing one’s firstborn in order to receive the gods’ favour. Coming of age has never been worse.

Main character Flora Hamilton is not like the other sacrifices. She’s impulsive, with a vivacity of spirit that is surprising in one who has always known when and why she will die. And she is very much the type not to give up easily, even dedicating her time to learning witchcraft when many Sacrifices do not apply themselves to study. When Flora’s headstrong behaviour makes her Guardian Angel quit on the spot, it’s time for a new Guardian to step into place for the last three days of her life: Julian, the only angel she’s ever felt a connection with. But this connection may be dangerous to explore.

I enjoyed the world-building in this story, and its mixture of almost mafia families with the supernatural. There seems to be a multi-layered plot afoot, leaving you wondering how the ritual of the Day of Sacrifice came about and why the families would follow a tradition that loses them children. But as this is only a novella, much is left unexplained — if anything, Day of Sacrifice feels like a prequel to a much larger story.

While the novella does an excellent job of setting up for future books in the series, both by establishing the relationship between Julian and Flora, as well as giving insight into the Day of Sacrifice ritual, I was left a little dissatisfied, as if the story were all gravy and no meat. It doesn’t help that the progression in Julian and Flora’s relationship felt a little forced to me, a little too quick a change from her being abstinent to being in love. While the quick development of the relationship could be partially explained by Flora’s impulsiveness, I didn’t find it believable that someone as responsible as Julian would allow himself to be dragged alone. I suppose my main critique is that I didn’t find the characters as believable as the setting.

However, considering the novella’s length, Benefiel has packed an impressive amount of world-building into a short space, which will give her a lot of room to work with in the next book of the series.

In sum, if you’re looking for a bite-sized suspenseful urban fantasy tale with strong romantic elements, this might be a book for you.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: diana lim on Jan. 08, 2011 : star star star star
Stacey jumped to the Angel bandwagon. Unlike the other "angel" books, this one has a unique story and a kick-ass heroine. Flora's sass is refreshing while Julian's charisma is exhilarating.

As Flora's day of Sacrifice approaches, a threat on her life made things complicated. She was set to go through with it until Julian became her Guardian and told her about a prophecy. Their actions at the end of the book makes a pretty good cliffhanger.

I would have liked the book to be a bit longer with more pages explaining the background story of the supernaturals. A vivid picture of the city they were living in and the "outside" world. It was a fairly good book and you would want to know what happens next, which is in itself a sell.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Faith Austen on Nov. 20, 2010 : star star star star star
The beginning of this short story is well written though it kind of takes a minute to get into the jist of what's going on. The points of view change between Julian and Flora so quickly you're just kind of left thinking "Oh, this is ______'s P.O.V. Okay, I get what's going on now." There aren't many P.O.V changes, but it still gets you confused for a second. (Well, at least I got confused for a second).

The story kicks off soon, though. Flora gets about seventy million calls from Fauna (her twin). As she listens to the messages she knows it's something important. I won't tell you. (:

I love Flora's personality in this story. She's strong, confident and not afraid to be scared every once in a while.

Julian: He's adorable. I love Julian. He's so sweet, smart, cute, compassionate. I felt so bad for him when ________ happened. (Gotcha there hehe) Poor Julian and when _________ happened. That was just too heartbreaking and adorable at the same time. Read it and fill in the blanks :D

S.W.Benfiel did a great job with this. She really knew how to weave everything together to come up with a perfect ending. I'm looking forward to REBELLION which is coming out in 2011.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Angela on Nov. 01, 2010 : star star star star star
I found this novella quite an easy read. From start to end I was sucked into the story of Flora and Julian. I loved the concept of the story, something different from the usual Guardian Angel type stories. It only took me an afternoon of reading and it left me desperately wanting more. The two main characters relationship grows quite fast which only makes you love them more. Went searching for the next one to find that it comes out next year. So look out for "Rebellion" next year as I am sure it will be just as great as this one. Thanks for the chance to read your book Stacey. Great job. :D
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Keri Wiley on Nov. 01, 2010 : star star star star star
I just read 'Day of Sacrifice' and it was fantastic! This novella is a supernatural love story/action story. I really want to give a great review so you guys will read it right away, but I don't want to give out any spoilers. The characters, Julian and Flora, are awesome. Stacey Benefiel always comes up with the best names for her characters.

The world she has created in 'Day of Sacrifice' is genius and a bit frightening. Living your life knowing that you will be condemning your first born child to death is awful, but what about actually being that child, that sacrifice. No wonder Flora is a wild child, what does her behavior matter when she's going to be dead in a few days just so her father's business will flourish and the Gods are satisfied? I enjoyed this story because the entire time I was reading it I was thinking, "I'd probably do the same exact thing." Live it up while you're still living.

But then there's a twist, as with all great fantasy stories, and Flora is given a new Guardian Angel. Her other one quit, as have the ones before her. And she must go into hiding so she stays safe and alive for the last three days before she is to be sacrificed to the Gods. Those three days are then filled with lust, magical fire fights and prophecies.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Jennifer Shaw on Oct. 28, 2010 : star star star star star
...“Hold your head up high. Your sacrifice to the Gods on this day will allow your family to thrive. They will gain the favor of the Gods. You have lived a good life and I have been proud to be your Guardian...”


Flora knows when and why she will die. She has lived her life under constant protection, waiting for this day to come. Many first borns have gone before her, continuing this tradition to the Gods. But Flora is a witch, a very powerful witch. When one Guardian fails, another will succeed. Julian is to be Flora's final Guardian. There is a connection between them that could shake the very tradition that requires Flora's death.


This novella literally blew me away. An outstanding plot that had me captivated until the very end. The characters are vibrant and powerful. At the end of the story, I found myself wishing there were more but was still completely satisfied. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment, Rebellion: The Outer Territory. This is definitely an author and series to keep your eye on. Stacey Wallace Benefiel is a fabulous storyteller that thinks outside of the box.
A red-hot read. Put this at top of your 'must buy' list.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: mish on Oct. 23, 2010 : star star star star star
Rating: 5 (I Loved It!) At 15,000 words this book is either a long short story or a short novella, depending on your perspective. Stacey's new series shows her versatility while retaining that wonderful writing style that I enjoyed so much in Glimpse, her YA series. This series is definitely for an older audience but every much as enjoyable.

The opening scene grabbed me right away and that is just the way I like it! Flora has a lot of spunk and a smart mouth, again...just the way I like it. The romance between Flora and Julian moved fast, maybe a little too fast, but hey, Flora only had three days to live, ya know...in theory. Their relationship and the secrets that are revealed set into motion actions that will upset the Gods' apple cart, and the Gods are not going to be happy campers about it!

The ending was action packed, but beware if you don't like cliffhangers! I guessed the "big picture" of what would happen but when it got down to the details I was surprised. I'm eager to see where this story will go in the next installment as there were some questions about the ending that I'm hoping will be answered in the next book, Rebellion: The Outer Territory, due to be released January 2011.

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(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lacy on Oct. 23, 2010 : star star star star star
Day of Sacrifice is a great novella that puts you on the edge of your seat. Imagine a world where the first born child in your family is sacrficed to the gods in order to increase your families wealth. Flora has been raised to know that on her twenty first birthday she will be sacrificed for the good of her family. That in and of itself would be a hard pill to swallow, but at the same time Flora wants to enjoy the short life she has left and is labeled a wild child. The novella encompasses the three days leading up to Flora's Day of Sacrifice. She is running for her life, lusting for her new gaurdian, Julian, and having a prophecy revealed to her that could change everything for all of the sacrifices. You really get pulled into the world that Benefiel has created and don't want the story to end. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fantasy and the paranormal. Rebellon cannot come soon enough now!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Lauralynn Elliott on Oct. 13, 2010 : star star star star star
I didn't really know what to expect from a story this short. It was longer than a short story and shorter than a novella. I'm usually left wanting after reading a short story. I knew I was going to have to review this story, so I was hoping I would like it. I was not disappointed! This is a great little story. It was fun, romantic, and just the thing for someone who wants to read something quick that still has substance. I really liked the characters, and I liked the unusual plot. Good job, Stacey!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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