Charlie Courtland


Charlie Courtland graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis on creative writing, and a minor in Criminology. She was born in Michigan and currently resides in the Seattle area with her husband and two children.

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The Secret of A Spicy Jalapeno
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,530. Language: English. Published: March 7, 2011. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
Beyond the urban sprawl of a Pacific Northwest city lurks the peculiar little town of Providence and in it, an organic farmer named Joe Parker. Joe’s lurid story begins when Sheriff Caine fashions the big idea to grow jalapenos, albeit with questionable methods. Everything is going as planned, that is, until Vera Cruz makes an appearance. Will Vera save Joe or lure him further into depravity?
The Hidden Will of the Dragon
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 171,240. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2010. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
(4.60 from 5 reviews)
In the sequel to "Dandelions in the Garden," the journey of history's most intriguing noble female murderer continues. Come following Elizabeth and Amara through the canals of Venice and high into the Carpathian Mountains to discover the inevitable. How the story of the Blood Countess really ends!
Dandelions In The Garden
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 165,240. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2010. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
(4.33 from 6 reviews)
Journey into the underworld of the Blood Countess. "Dandelions In The Garden," is a historical fiction novel based on one of the most infamous female mass murderers in history, the 16th century Hungarian countess, Elizabeth Bathory. The Blood Countess was a descendant of Vlad Tepes and is undeniably connected with the vampire legends of Transylvania.

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Smashwords book reviews by Charlie Courtland

  • Shared on Sep. 24, 2010

    "Shared" is a unforgiving and unforgettable tale that will linger long after you put it down. The style is merciless and I can only hope it is appreciated by those who read it. The rhythmic tone waves from one world to the next, taking the reader into one life and then, pulling them out to awaken in another. At first, I was disoriented at the lack of *** to indict a shift in time, but then I realized what a stylistic necessity it was to omit the breaks from the pages. Often, writer's bend to format habits to please the general reading audience. Where someone might think it a mistake, it is actually enriching the experience. In this case, it enhances the written word and seduces the reader into the breathing text. Being jolted from one shift in time and placed in another is a unique style quality of the writing. Those who have studied creative writing will undoubtedly enjoy this book because it is a wonderful example of the use of style and a refreshing reminder of why we write and study the classics. It seems I'm having my own internal debate when it comes to finding flaws with the text. Certainly, there are aspects that I could mention that might make the story more entertaining, but it would come at a cost. There is repetition of both journeys and certain wordy scenes, but when viewing the text in it's entirety, it seems so connected to the flow that if cut, the story might suffer some of it's beauty and richness. So I say, give in to the journey, the repetition, and try to hang on until the end. Will appear on my 'Best of 2010' book list. Also, reading Caraliza by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick and highly recommend this book too. A great author everyone should discover!
  • On The Gathering Storm on Sep. 29, 2010

    The story is chalk full of vivid descriptions that are carefully constructed to forge a lasting impression. When you close your eyes, you will likely be haunted by Hannah's ordeal and the events of her life. What makes the story even more frightening is Hannah is a character that an everyday girl can relate to. She becomes as recognizable as a friend, a sister or a girl from work. Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I am familiar with the setting (Canada) that is described. I could easily visualize each place and because of this, it made the terror even more real. Hints of the paranormal coming in the form of flash visions are introduced in the beginning. The insertion will be easy for even the most skeptical to accept because the character development and overall story is cemented in the now. Parts of the story are delivered in a series of flashbacks. I found myself deeply committed to these parts of the writing and felt the author squeezed all the use from penning the important scenes. Often, this technique can be flawed, but not in this graphic tale. I felt the flashback was actually a strength in the over all telling. A note: The story includes sexual detailing, violence and sexual violence related to a kidnapping that might be disturbing to some readers. I'm a big fan of the simile, but this story was packed with them. I was pleased they were original and did not lead to cliches. However, in my humble opinion it was a touch over done. The scene involving Hannah at her brother's apartment loses it's footing and touch with reality. Up until then, I was on board with the flashes and paranormal visions. Also, the bad events that take place there are a bit hard to digest. At one point, I was thinking this is going to end up being just a 'dream' kind of book because this is too fantastical. Lastly, the epilogue threw me for a jerky loop. Epilogues used as a lead to a series or teaser are widely popular and I admit, I use them in my own stories. However, I detest epilogues used as a summary device. I don't want a sudden 'by the way' this is what happens to the characters (players) the next day, week or year. It feels insincere and frankly, rushed. I just spent three days of horror with this character and now I'm getting the rest of her life summed up in a few pages? I know some people dearly want to know, 'then what happened,' but I'm not that reader.
  • Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror #1) on June 15, 2011

    I started this book on a chilly Pacific Northwest afternoon and read until 3 am. I didn't anticipate getting hooked, but the pacing created an irresistible page-turner that had me reading until my eyes ached. Who needs sleep? Sleep is over-rated! Darkhouse is seductively entertaining and I'm convinced that it has some secret ingredient (like the sauce on a Big Mac or the coffee beans at Starbucks) that makes it immediately addictive. Red Fox is coming out soon and I simply can't wait (okay, maybe I'm begging a little) for the author to send me an advanced copy. What makes it so good? Perry is a reliable character: flawed, insecure, impulsive, but despite her own roadblocks she has a determination that the audience can clearly see even if she does not (yet). It is her self-awareness that makes the character appealing, trustworthy and honest. Her vulnerability provides sympathy without demanding pity. Dex is similar and it is not surprising that the Clown Lady insinuates Perry and Dex are cut from the same cloth. Their contradictions show strength of character and reveals a great deal about the individuals. For example, Dex admits he lies and by doing so disproves he's a liar because he confesses to the deceit. A true liar would never willingly reveal this deprecating detail. The paranormal elements and spook factor are unique and provide just enough to let the imagination create the setting without coming across as silly, immature or easy to dismissed. The creepiness I experienced was real and I loved the lighthouse scenes. The splattering mentions of pop culture references were excellent and worked to create a mental map of the characters perception and thinking. I knew where they were coming from, what images came to mind during their experiences, and how they related to the world unfolding in front of them. Frankly, I'm surprised by the lower ratings received at places such as Goodreads because this contemporary humorous spook fest might read fast-paced and easy, which it does, but the voice is not absent of substance. The language doesn't try too hard to convince intelligence and by doing so, is smartly composed to do what a story should, entertain. Don't get me wrong, there is meaning here, but the fact that the story isn't trying so hard to show (or prove it) makes it that much more clever. Darkhouse is an example of a confident and assured author's 'voice.' The writer connects with the characters, deeply understanding and channeling them onto the page. By the end I was convinced Perry was writing this story. I have no doubt that Perry and Dex are real--and they live through author Karina Halle.
  • Blackbirch Woods on June 16, 2011

    What is wonderful about Blackbirch Woods is the enduring and irresistible love story that begins as friendship between Willis and Violet and develops into a trust that can defeat anything which threatens to tear it apart. Willis and Violet's relationship encompasses what I believe most of us hope for, a deep and soulful attachment of hearts that cannot be explained because it transcends meaning applied to words. Instead, it lives inside us and must be simply trusted, blindly, much like faith. Blackbirch Woods echos the rich storytelling that is found in treasured fables and biblical type stories. This is a Christian, clean read and although it contains paranormal elements, its deeply rooted in the traditional Christian teachings. At times, the verses, prayers and testaments can come across as a bit preachy, but I imagine reaction to the text will depend completely on the preference of the reader. Some will see this feature as a strength, where others might view it as a weakness. I enjoyed the fabled tale and the romantic chemistry between the main characters was truly inspirational.