Chaosmoon's favorite authors on Smashwords

N.R. Walker
Latest book: Starting Point.
Published May 24, 2024.
Caethes Faron
Latest book: In Pain.
Published June 8, 2024.
Eli Lang
Latest book: Scratch Track.
Published July 12, 2024.
Kasia Bacon
Latest book: Rago.
Published July 11, 2024.
V.L. Locey
Latest book: Reading the Play.
Published July 17, 2024.
Marshall Thornton
Latest book: Death Comes to Happy Acres.
Published July 11, 2024.
Naomi Aoki
Latest book: Devotion.
Published April 12, 2023.
Dianne Hartsock
Latest book: Shelton in Love.
Published June 14, 2021.
...and 540 more

Smashwords book reviews by Chaosmoon

  • A Wealth of Unsaid Words on Nov. 07, 2019

    The is a moving story about love and family. Loving someone with a mental illness is difficult, and sometimes timing is everything. This is a perfect holiday story about what can happen when the time is finally right.
  • Taji From Beyond the Rings on Feb. 11, 2020

    I would rate this 4.75 stars. Taji is a human linguist who was supposed to be on a small moon, mostly isolated, to compile information on its language, culture, and inhabitants for the Interplanetary Trade Coalition (IPTC) databases. After the deaths of two members of a diplomatic team on the planet below named Mirsa, he is conscripted to assist Ambassador Tsomyal since he is the only person in nearby space even remotely qualified to help decipher nuances of communication in Asha, the language used throughout most of the Sha Empire. Shavians value control and stoicism except in precise culturally acceptable situations. Although humanoid, they seem to have a vast amount of nonverbal communication with their cat like ears. As a native Anglisky speaker with no training in diplomacy and a translator device with inferior software translations, he is thrown into the deep end of a foreign alien culture in political turmoil. Nicknamed Mouth by the IPTC security team, he will find out how accurate that description is as he tries to stay alive. The IPTC sending a diplomatic team to encourage trade is just an experiment to save the cost of war. They are on the outskirts of space, with a steep learning curve for survival by their wits alone. The author successfully conveys a sense of peril as there is no one close enough to rescue them in time should anything go wrong--even a misunderstanding about the meaning of a word can upend their mission. Here several words cause trouble: shehzha, honor, and gender pronouns. The entire book hinges on Taji's communication minefield. This does what the best scifi does, examines our own society through the lenses of alien society with social commentary on: oligarchy, figureheads, finding the balance between tradition and change, stagnation vs. innovation, rule by fear, class warfare, devaluation of skilled labor and the arts, an uneducated populace, xenophobia, and the dangers of not treating all peoples equally and equitably. I love all the genders and skin colors represented. Taji, with a bad leg and misaligned prosthetic that hurts him, is surrounded by aliens that are larger, stronger, and not used to dealing with making accommodation for such an injury. Many IPTC like Trenne, join them to get away from societies with restrictive rules. Although Trenne is from Mirsa, he is not considered Shavian, since he is descended from conquered peoples, thus he is discriminated against due to his skin markings. This is used to good effect as how people treat them both, reflects on them. All the characters here are interesting as shown through Taji's viewpoint whilst trying to help navigate the circumstances. The reader knows and understands them as Taji does, so as his opinion changes, so did mine. The political intrigue makes it difficult to tell friend from foe. The love story between Taji and Sargent Major Trenne is moving, explicit, and erotic. Because Taji is caring and kind, he is the heart of the book; since Trenne holds his heart, he also holds mine. Be aware that the sex also has a biological component--a chemical reaction that causes "heat" so although everything between Taji and Trenne is consensual, this could be abused like sexual slavery since it causes addiction like a drug. This book is like the author mixed up a few of my favorite ingredients (the Claiming series by Lyn Gala, The Prince He Loved by Michael Barnette, the Breeds series by Lora Leigh, Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin) to make me a cake. Really, really good cake, but I missed the nuts. In other words, I didn't rate it higher because the world-building was mostly political, less physical. The book didn't paint pictures in my mind as much as I would have liked. All of it takes place in the capital or the home territory of the emperor's family. I know there are different districts of the capital like the Gardens, or the Fires, but I don't have a real sense of them. It's alright, because I know some people are allergic to nuts. Althought this is a slightly darker book than I am used to by this particular author, it will be loved and read again, as I usually do with her stories. I really loved it.
  • The Pet and his Duke on Nov. 08, 2022

    I would give this 4.5 stars. I got totally sucked into this. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but I really liked the world building and seeing the different snapshots of their lives as time goes by. This Empire has slavery, so by definition, it's noncon. Slaves can't really give consent, as they are slaves; yes, even if their owner loves them and treats them well. If that bothers you, don't read it. Having said that, the sex here exists, but is not explicit, or detailed for titilation--it is just part of life. After the book is over, there are also some bonus short stories. I would have liked a little more descriptions of the various surroundings, but I liked the world and the characters, so I'm going to buy some more books and read about other parts of the Empire.
  • From Fear on May 18, 2023

    I love this whole series and was super excited to see a new one. The books are more unique because they aren't written in linear order. Buy all four of them.
  • The Partners in Crime Collection on July 26, 2023

    These are all interesting and well written. If you like the author's writing style, then you will like them all; they're very consistant and there is not a "dud" in the box so it's worth the money to buy the set. While there are romances in the book, that is not the point of the books. Each book focuses on solving a murder or murders. The private lives of each detective are treated respectfully and equally no matter the gender of their partner. Sometimes, it can feel like the author do just make up a quick easy answer as to the way things work, like what a ghost can and cannot do, and why. Also, it makes it a lot easier to solve life's problems when there is money involved. But, those are little quibbles. I enjoyed these books a lot.
  • Mahu Books 1-3 on Aug. 01, 2023

    These are so satisfying--3D characters, interesting crimes, and a lush setting. These people seem real, flaws and all. I feel like I was transported there to that time and place. The casual homophobia is hard to read with modern sensibilities. Maturity comes with age and experience; it's a journey as Kimo makes mistakes, learns about himself, and solves crimes. The writing is top notch.
  • I Will Meet You at Asphodel's Pit on Oct. 01, 2023

    This a delightful, and successful, short science fiction story with political intrigue. It's also romantic and a happily ever after, or at least for now, since the Universe is a dangerous place.
  • Empty Nests on June 03, 2024

    This is a well written, realistic, slowburn romance with hot, yet touching love scenes between two men in their 30's. There is no angst or drama. Everyone acts like a mature adult and communicates. It does end abruptly in a way that can be looked at as an HFN, but it's really a duology so you need Bowerbirds to finish their story. I'm looking forward to seeing them integrate their lives together in the next book.