Librarian and Book Blogger with a major book addiction to all genres.
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Smashwords book reviews by Jennifer Shaw
- The Hidden Will of the Dragon
on Sep. 26, 2010
This was an adventure that will not soon be forgotten. It will linger in your memory, drawing you back to the moments captured within the story. What an amazing cast of characters. Each one unique, yet attached in some way or another to each other. As a reader, I was taken on an adventure filled with edge of your seat, nail biting tension and romantic and/or lustful romantic trysts. As the story carries you through the lives of two women who could never be more different yet so faithful to each other. The setting was described so vividly that it felt as though you were or had been in that time period, experiencing each moment alongside Lady Amara and Elizabeth Bathory.
Lady Amara's character caught me off guard, shocking me throughout the twisting plot. At times, she almost seemed naive but that feeling would not last long. She was, in my mind, a hopeless romantic longing for true love. Would she find it? Was it to happen for her? The amount of loyalty Amara had when it came to Elizabeth was almost sickening. In the end I was saddened by her situation.
Elizabeth Bathory (the Blood Countess) was a very strong and fierce woman. From the beginning, I was drawn to her adventurous side and later appalled by the woman she would become. The madness this woman exerted on her fellow characters was unimaginable. Yet you can't help but cheer for her plans to succeed, no matter what she was faced with.
Charlie Courtland has created an enthralling tale where history meets legend and romance. Readers that enjoyed "The Historian" will find Courtland's work fitting to their taste. I will definitely watch out for future works and look forward to reading "Dandelions in the Garden."
I can't recommend this book enough.
- Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1)
on Oct. 28, 2010
If you had the ability to see the future, would you? If you saw something tragic, would you share it with them? Zellie Wells is an average teenager, excited about her sweet sixteen party and being head over heels for Avery. They experience their first kiss and their world is turned upside down. Zellie's vision shows Avery bloody and her pregnant. As it becomes obvious they are an item, their parents begin to act strange, neither parent wanting them to see each other. It's dangerous, they say. But young love is strong and they are determined to stay together, no matter what.
The characters are well developed, each bringing drama and depth, propelling the plot at a smooth pace. With so many people involved, I was pleased to see a well rounded story within so few pages. I enjoyed the way the characters were all realistic and easy to connect with. The back story with the grandmother explained a lot about Zellie and her relationship with her mother. Introducing the "Secret Society" added to an already brilliant plot.
Glimpse is the first book in the Zellie Wells series and I look forward to reading more. The next book is "Glimmer."
- Day of Sacrifice (Day of Sacrifice #1)
on Oct. 28, 2010
...“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.
- Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2)
on Nov. 15, 2010
Judging a book by its cover is easy to do these days and I am guilty of it myself. Glimmer's cover is not as appealing as some covers out there but it's very fitting to the story. A flashy cover is not needed here. Stacey has once again added a shocking mix of characters to an intriguing plot. There are so many outstanding characters that each adding a spark of uniqueness to a plot that already has you screaming for more.
Zellie has her work cut out for her in Glimmer. Her powers have developed, attracting some attention that isn't wanted. The Society leader is determined to get Zellie and her new friend, Ben, out of the way. With her visions more intense than ever before, Zellie is determined to get to the bottom of the cause. What she discovers changes everything. Secrets are revealed and a fight is coming. Who will win this battle? To make matters worse, Zellie and Avery are fighting for their right to be together. Will Ben slip in and take Zellie from him? With so much going on already, Zellie's dreams of Avery's death stops...Is this the end of Avery?
I absolutely adore the characters in this novella. Zellie is a firecracker; you never know what to expect from her. She is adorable but still has a bad girl quality. Her attraction to Avery makes you smile and cheer for their success. Avery is forever loyal to her, no matter the situation. He has grown to be one of my favorite characters in the series. Their intense relationship draws you into their world.
Stacey's writing style is stronger than ever in this installment, bringing a deeper enjoyment to the series. The addition of characters added depth to an already fabulous plot. The momentum of the story was perfect, allowing the reader plenty of time to enjoy the characters and the situations they were in. The worst thing about Glimmer was that it had to end. As a reader, you can't ask for more than that... well maybe for the next installment, "Glow," to be available sooner than the summer of 2011. I'm eager to find out what happens next. If you haven't read Glimpse or Glimmer you must add them to your TBR list.
on March 08, 2011
"I'm gonna fix you, Bobby Hilts! Just you see if I don't." (pg.15)
This particular line from Half-Inch sets you up for the enthralling pages you will become immersed in. Pammy is a woman on the edge; she may just take a leap that many wouldn’t dare to even attempt. I found myself glued to every word and thought Pammy had or felt as if this was a true life situation. In fact, is feels as though the plot was pulled from a nightly news broadcast. As a lover of horror and crime dramas, this is right up my alley and I would love, yes, love to see this amazing short story become a full length novel. In 67 pages, I was truly amazed at the quality, depth, and extreme emotion it contained. If you haven’t had a chance to read this fabulous story, you should.