Anna Erishkigal is an attorney who writes fantasy fiction under a pen-name so her colleagues don't question whether her legal pleadings are fantasy fiction as well. Much of law, it turns out, -is- fantasy fiction. Lawyers just prefer to call it 'zealously representing your client.'
Seeing the dark underbelly of life makes for some interesting fictional characters. The kind you either want to incarcerate, or run home and write about. In fiction, you can fudge facts without worrying too much about the truth. In legal pleadings, if your client lies to you, you look stupid in front of the judge.
At least in fiction, if a character becomes troublesome, you can always kill them off.
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Addictive Paranormal Reads Halloween Box Set
In anticipation of the spooky season, 10 great authors have chipped in one of their paranormal-themed stories, all rated 4-stars or above. Travel with us as we guide you on a Halloween-themed journey through some great paranormal reads. 1 deathly epic-length novel, 3 seductively spine-tingling short novels, 3 nerve-wracking novellas and 3 spooky short stories, nearly 1,000 pages of treats!
A Gothic Christmas Angel
Dumped by her boyfriend on Christmas Eve, Cassie Baruch thought her pain would end when she aimed her car at an ancient beech tree. But when a gorgeous black-winged angel appears and tells her ‘this ain’t no stinking paranormal romance, kid,’ she realizes death hasn’t solved her problems. Can Jeremiel help her exorcise the ghosts of problems past and find a little closure?
Angel of Death: A Love Story
The Angel of Death falls in love with a mortal in this tale of true love, reincarnation, and forgiveness that spans from ancient Carthage to the Iraq/Afghanistan war.
"This is the best book I have read in a long time. It is the first I have tried of this author, but it will not be the last. Fresh outlook and great characters make this a satisfying, hard to set down read." (reader review)
Sword of the Gods: Prince of Tyre
Mikhail has a new mission: train the warriors to fight back against the mysterious kidnappings. But the journey from soldier to general is never easy. The Emperor and Shay'tan are so busy outwitting one another that neither notices a much more ancient Evil outmaneuvers them. A tragic death forces the Alliance to choose which leader they will follow in an epic showdown. The Emperor … or Lucifer?
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Smashwords book reviews by Anna Erishkigal
on June 22, 2012
Classic fantasy at its very best. Three main character points of view lead us through a strange world where water has covered the Earth, what's left of humanity huddles on floating cities worrying about when the next 'cleansing' will occur to reduce excess citizens the cities can no longer support and sell them into slavery for a mysterious despot, and gemstones can help certain wielders called Stoneweavers animate the element they're attuned with to act as avatars. The system of magic is well thought out, the three main characters credible and believable, and the way the three pathways converge page-turning. Language is kept basically 'clean' and there's lots of magical duals, so would be safe and interesting for a YA reader as well as adults. I'll be looking into Mr. Lewis's next book!
- Coral Throne
on July 21, 2012
This fantasy tale reads like a historical tale of England during the time of Henry VIII. Petty city-states with limited resources vie for position. Dictators who will smile as they stick a knife in their allies back. Mercenaries, thieves, and privateers doing the dirty work that cannot be done officially. A champion forced to assume the title of unwilling leader. His close circle of friends, not one of them particularly anxious to assume the power that has been thrust upon them. And of course an assassination attempt by an usurper.
Plenty of intrigues in this tale of floating cities in a world that has been covered by floodwater for many generations ... and for the first time has hope as the waters begin to recede. The system of magic is logical, and is expanded upon in an interesting way from Book 1 of the series. The magical duals continue, but take a back seat to the intrigues of kings ... and our champions dislike of being forced to fight his opponents behind-their-back instead of head-on like a true champion should. The research into what must be done to manage a world where newly emerged land must be tended and planted, but the flood waters are receding too slow to satisfy a desperate populace, is credible.
My only complaint was the secondary antagonist's motivation. I wasn't sure whether to simply dislike him, or love to dislike him. Simple dislike is when you say 'this is the bad guy' and then every time he slithers into the room, the audience hisses. But when you love to dislike a character, it's like JR Ewing in the original Dallas. He's a snake. But he's so darned fascinating because a lot of the time he makes the most sense. I didn't 'love to hate' the secondary antagonist, and the primary antagonist was always so shadowy that I didn't get a chance to hate him.
In the end, the REAL antagonist was the snails pace at which the waters were receding and how difficult it was for the hero to keep things together in light of human nature. Therefore, I'm giving this book four stars. And looking for the next installment in this series.
- Broken Trust
on Jan. 16, 2013
I bought this story because I have a soft spot for banged-up soldiers. As a suspense writer, the author holds great promise. During the scenes set in a war zone and, later, when the bad guys come around, I always felt as though I was in Mac's head. His loss of faith, his PTSD, and his guilt over the loss of his friend always felt real.
I was less enthralled with Toni. I understood this was a 'christian' romance when I bought it (i.e., no sex) and was in the mood for a little dose of faith, but it always felt like Toni was bludgeoning me over the head with it. Faith is meant to be the view from your picture window ... there ... but it's not something you can replicate by repeating 'look at that view' a million times. Toni also obsessed about Mac breaking off their engagement way too much. It really detracted from the story. Show ... not tell.
I am giving this 4-stars as a suspense novel, but as a romance it only rates a 2. I'm giving it the higher rating anyways because there's nothing wrong with this book a good edit couldn't fix and ... dang ... the suspense really had me on the edge of my seat a few times! 4-stars for Mac!
- Reckless Nights in Rome
on March 13, 2013
Nico is so hot I think my Nook left singe-marks on my lap where it rested while I was reading this book. Good thing e-readers come with ubiquitous covers so the other mommy's at the gymnastics lessons couldn't tell the reason I was squirming in my seat and biting my hand was because I was on fire! I loved how three-dimensional the characters were in this story and the way that it grabbed you and dragged you kicking and screaming (or in this case, hot, sweaty, and screaming Oh! My!) through the entire book. If I had to make one complaint, Nico came on a bit strong for me at first (if it had been me, I would have drop-kicked him in the crotch the first three chapters ... but I'm a martial artist). It had a plot, too. And believable, well-rounded secondary characters. And ... cake. Yes, this book even had cake! Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
- Children of the Plague
on April 03, 2013
In a fascinating twist on the usual post-apocalyptic or fantasy novel which features zombies or magic, Children of the Plague creates a world where aliens unleash a nano-particle plague (the Con) which overcomes humanity by altering humanities genetic structure. Depending upon which program-variation of the virus you have been infected with, either you are vulnerable to having your consciousness 'drained' by another human infected with the Con (hosts), you limp along surviving not knowing when you'll be turned or eaten, or you keep your faculties because mysteriously the consciousness's of other humans who have been taken are downloaded into your mind (exterminators) and it gives you the ability to harness the nanoparticles to use as a quasi-electrical/quasi-magic power. The alien intelligence directing this invasion remains largely unseen in this novel as humans fight to survive (barely) thanks to Lanni and a kind of partial immunity she has to being seized, but you have to question why the two variations of abilities? (and I won't say more because it's a potential spoiler). It's a fascinating world Greg Carrico paints and as the book ends, I hope there will soon be another installment so we can learn what happens next.
- Under His Command
on April 08, 2013
A scorching hot (literally) read. I didn't realize when I downloaded this it was BDSM erotica ... I tend to prefer my explicit scenes peppered in instead of the main course. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how well-rounded the two main characters were and their emotional states as they struggled to revive their failing marriage. Would BDSM solve their woes? I gave it a momentary suspension of disbelief, but if you were to take that element out of the story and leave it with its components of learning to communicate and trust one another, this story stands up well. I enjoyed it (Shhh... don't tell my husband!). If you're a '50 Shades of Grey' fan, this story is MUCH better written!
on April 19, 2013
This is a collection of two post-apocalyptic short stories that have an unusual slant on the usual feast of rotting flesh and brain-sucking undead. COULD you be merciless if it meant it might save the world? What if you needed to do it to someone you loved? Want to know more ... then read them! I enjoyed the plot twists.
- The Anvil of the Craftsman
on April 22, 2013
A heart pounding ride…
This book grabs you by the seat of the pants and won't let you go as it drags you by through the IED-laden minefields of Iraq along with the hero/protagonist Jon Anthony and his spooky Special Forces protector, Matt Kameldorn. Along the way we are given fascinating, credible-sounding glimpses into the minds and motivations of not only the Al Qaida operatives, but also some of the ordinary people and tribal leaders who eventually rally against the foreign terrorists in their midst. I will definitely be continuing on with this series, but first, I think I'll go write me some serious Kameldorn fanfiction :-)
- 40 Top Quinoa Recipes For Weight Loss
on June 04, 2013
Have you ever had a good idea gone oh so wrong? Eat quinoa, my nutritionist said my first day on a new diet. So, being gung-ho (for who isn't gung-ho their first week on a new diet?) I went right down to our natural food store and, when they didn't have the quinoa listed on my magical little diet list in stock and was told they could special order it ... for a price ... I did what any other frugal American would do and bought bulk. Yessiree! I bought a great big ginormous 40-pound bag of red quinoa!
You ever see that movie Finding Nemo where the fish from the dentist's fish tank finally orchestrate their escape into the ocean and are floating in the plastic baggies? Yeah ... it was like that. Now what? The entire family quickly balked at a constant diet of steamed red quinoa seeds, so 38.5 of that 40 pound bag has been sitting in my pantry sfor the past year.
Enter '40 Top Quinoa Recipes For Weight Loss.' You mean quinoa has a bitter shell and you're supposed to RINSE it first? Why didn't the nutritionist tell me that? No wonder the kids were balking! Or you can use it to make a tabbouleh-salad type concoction with lots of veggies and it actually tastes good? Or risotto? Pumpkin risotto?
I've tried 3 recipes from this little cookbook so far and have several more circled as potential 'favorites.' I liked it enough to use Adobe Reader to print it out 2-per-page and staple it together into a little 4.25x5.5 cookbook to keep in my cookbook collection so I'll use it every day. One of my 5-pound storage tubs of quinoa has been used! Whoopee! Only 35 pounds of quinoa more to go...
[*As for last year's diet ... I lost 8 pounds WITHOUT eating the quinoa and then gained it right back again so hopefully this cookbook will help with THAT problem as well!*]
- Smashwords Style Guide
on June 09, 2013
You may curse and stomp and rip out your hair at all the tedious little steps it takes to pre-format your document to upload to meatgrinder, but Mark Coker leads you step-by-step (with pictures) through the process and, even without meatgrinder, you'd be paying some ebook formatter big bucks to make these changes FOR you so you might as well learn now and avoid those bugaboos in the future. Easy enough for even the technologically incompetent (like me) to understand.
- A Stormy Spring
on June 17, 2013
I wanted a hot romance, and once again C.C. MacKenzie delivered. This book started where many romance novels leave off, and then moved to back off (with all of the attendant angst) and then moved where you wanted to go. Nice description of the high-stakes world of choreography. Shared this book with a friend whose daughter is a dancer.
- The Britteridge Heresy
on Aug. 30, 2013
Border Patrol agents found a Quran dropped at an illegal border crossing...
In reviewing a suspense novel, I tend to judge according to the following factors:
1. Sympathetic protagonist(s) *****
2. Believable motivations for the antagonist(s) *****
3. Realistic 'threat' *****
4. Well developed supporting characters *****
5. Well researched background *****
6. A sense of a ticking clock *****
7. Some sort of 'twist' *****
8. Satisfying resolution *****
9. Other factors ****
Everything about this novel about a terror plot on home soil met or exceeded my expectations. Kameldorn from Book 1 is back with a new identity, while the mild-mannered Jon Anthony bravely stuck his neck out after surviving an attempt on his life. I loved Jon's new friend, Mary, ["What is it with American's and their obsession with guns!"] while Farrar is back and shone in a new light. Everyone, from the frustrated DHS agents to the motivations of the villain was satisfying, and even though I never have any TIME to read for pleasure, I ended up blowing off WORK to finish up this book because, dang it! The clock was ticking and I needed to know how it ended!
I always try to say something less-than glowing, so if I have one complaint, it is that I am a secular woman (my Facebook religion is listed as 'Mutt') and all of Dale Amidei's writing has a heavy Christian message. [*heretic eye-roll ... yes, mother, and I'll eat my broccoli, too*]
The next-to final scene where Jon comes face-to-face with the villain was particularly gratifying. Broccoli ... not so bad covered with cheese sauce :-P
This is the second book of this series I have read and I have already picked up the third.
- The Teacher's Billionaire
on Oct. 03, 2013
This was a well-written, fast-paced contemporary romance. The way the teacher-heroine ended up suddenly thrust into a family of billionaires, a presidential election, and in the eye of a wealthy male love interest was believable despite the tight page-count of less than 200 pages. The sex was only touched upon lightly and not too graphic. The peripheral characters were sympathetic and I am curious to find out what happens to the younger brother, the sister, and of course the best friend.
Exactly what I was hankering for when I picked up this contemporary romance. Cleanly edited ... there were no formatting or grammatical errors that I noticed. I would definitely consider future titles by this author.
This book was purchased from Smashwords.
- Hidden Betrayal (A Jade O'Reilly Mystery)
on Oct. 19, 2013
It's been quite a while since I dove into a contemporary mystery novel. The plot about the stolen artwork was believable and, until the end, I was convinced one person was behind the theft and surprised it was somebody else (though in retrospect the clues had been there all along). There were enough red herrings to keep me guessing and on my toes.
Overall ... enjoyed it!