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Smashwords book reviews by Stacy

  • Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairy Tale on Sep. 03, 2012

    Crimson Day is an awkward, unassuming wallflower-type who above all else, desires to fade into the background and not be noticed. Her mother is beautiful, light, calming - and absolutely nothing like Crimson herself. Right before Crimson’s 16th birthday, her mom starts acting weird…well, weirder than usual. In addition to wondering why in the world her mother is going off the deep end, Crimson wonders how she could possibly belong to this woman who she loves, but is well, TOTALLY not like herself. Well, maybe she really doesn’t. Belong with her mother, that is. Enter long-lost daddy, who just happens to be a King in Hell. Come again? Crimson in the Very Wrong Fairytale is a story about a girl who enters a fascinating, magical world…but one that just happens to reside ‘south of the border’. Told in a witty, cheeky fashion, Liz Jasper captures the snarkiness of high school cheerleaders, the buffoonery of demon minions, and the charm of a 16 year old girl who really just wants to fit in somewhere. I thought the story was fast-paced and entertaining, and I really did enjoy it! Looking forward to the sequel!
  • Her Mad Hatter on Sep. 09, 2012

    I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. Just finished reading this book, and I could NOT put it down. This is actually a 5+ star book, and it is now on my 'Favorites' shelf!! This is 'Alice in Wonderland' with a twist. Instead of the typical re-hash of the story we all know and love, Marie Hall has taken the story and humanized it, given it a dose of reality, and - dare I say it?- some bow chicka wow wow. Seriously, folks -- some scenes rival '50 Shades'! The Mad Hatter needs a mate, and not just any mate -- he needs THE ONE...or else he will spiral into madness and Wonderland will cease to exist. Fairy Godmother comes to the plate with another attempt at finding the right Alice; but if this Alice isn't the one, then all is lost. Author Marie Hall has painted such a beautiful portrait of Wonderland, and I find myself wanting to go there and never come back...she was able to show Wonderland the way it was meant to be, in all its bizarre, fantastical beauty. I HIGHLY recommend this book, and I was very pleased to see that Marie Hall has several other books available and in the works. I am officially a fan!
  • Earth on Sep. 15, 2012

    I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Let me start by saying I loved this book -- this was another one of those books that I had a hard time putting down! I ignored laundry, a dirty kitchen, a whiny toddler and put off dinner, just so I could read one more chapter...ok, just ONE more chapter....
The main character Shayna is well defined, likable, and feisty. She is an 'Earth Elemental', meaning she has the ability to control and feel the power of the earth. (think dirt, trees, all that jazz) Shayna has 2 best friends who share similar abilities: Jodi is an 'Air Elemental', and Steven is a 'Fire Elemental'. In addition to being elementals, they are also witches. Not the broomstick-riding kind, but the kind who seek to restore balance and promote good karma.
The trio goes through high school and they worry about the same old mundane things, until alarming news reports of satanic worship sites in their small town start to occur. Shayna is plagued with horrifying nightmares where she is being chased by some sort of devil dog, and upon waking, finds that her wounds are real and bleeding. A gorgeous new student (Jensen) starts at her high school, and she is alarmed at the depth of her attraction for he bad news?
I like that the Shayna-Jensen match wasn't a 'done-deal' throughout the book --it didn't seem forced, and it seemed more realistic. BUT!! I sure would like to see some more of Jensen, and I can only hope that he rears his beautiful head in the other 2 books in the series!
Good job, Shauna Granger, and thank you for the opportunity to review your book!
  • Gothic Angel on Oct. 03, 2012

    For me, the intriguing thing about a short story is to determine if there is capacity for a full-length novel within the shortened structure. Sometimes, shorter IS better. But sometimes you read a short story like 'Gothic Angel' and you just want MORE. The lead character is a young man who is distraught by the recent death of his lady love. He has a dream where his love tells him to meet her in the graveyard, so he goes to the location at the appointed hour to wait. Will she show, or is it just the tortured dreams of a sorrowful man? Robert Perry truly paints a picture with his words -- one of my favorite descriptors: " if the trees were painting their sorrows upon the dark night sky." Can't you just feel the anguish? This is a story that I would love to hear more of, but I can also appreciate the finality and PUNCH at the end.
  • The Five Watchers on Oct. 10, 2012

    I received this book from the author for free in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All thoughts contained in this review have rattled around in my head alone. This novel just made it to my Favorites shelf....seriously one of the scariest books I've ever read! Here goes..... Spook 'N Spectre Productions is responsible for a ghost hunting show on the new Horri-Fi Cable channel, called "Hunters in the Dark", where friends name other friends to go on a ghost-hunting expedition. If you make it through the first round, your friend then moves into the second round -- if you and your friend are successful, you each win $5,000. The purpose of the show is to send novice paranormal investigators into supposedly haunted locations, in order to either debunk or prove the existence of paranormal activity. The nominated participants are all excited about their trip, and think of it as no more than a way to get a little publicity and maybe some cash in the mix. Enter Shady Glen (proving that locations can be characters too): Two production assistants acting as scouts from Spook 'N Spectre are sent location-hunting to find the creepiest location. They travel to Pennsylvania and are shown around Shady Glen by the realtor who handles the property for its unspecified owner, and who refuses to cross over into most of the property at all...actually makes both scouts sign double indemnity clauses that says they can't sue if they are hurt or killed on the property. The property includes an old schoolhouse (built in mid-1850s), Watchers Sanatorium, boathouse, farm, barn, and slaughterhouse surrounded by 5 large mountain peaks. The area had been abandoned for almost 30 years, despite having had renters in one or the other building every so often who met unfortunate ends. Murders and horrific events have plagued the Shady Glen area since its inception, and the land seems hungry for more blood. A horrific massacre of schoolchildren closed the school shortly after it opened...the hospital was shut down after the head surgeon (Dr. Stills)was discovered performing brutal, inhumane experiments on patients -- then it was later opened as a hotel, where a sadistic pedophile named Nadler murdered countless men, women and children....and the list goes on and on. In any event, the production company decides that in order to ramp up the ratings for its declining show, it needs to plant some extra "Ghosts" in Shady Glen, to make sure the investigators catch unexplained things on camera. But what they don't consider - at all - is that Shady Glen doesn't need any help in that arena. Against the scouts' recommendations, Spook 'N Spectre sends all of the investigators into Shady Glen -- and the mayhem ensues. A cast of colorful characters - keep your eye on Tuiren, she is an intriguing one - keep the story fast-paced and alarming from start to finish. I'll admit that I actually had to stop reading two nights in a row (it just got too scary for me!). This book will seriously scare the S- out of you :) GREAT JOB, J. Cameron McClain!
  • Cherishing Destiny on April 26, 2013

    3.5 stars: Cherishing Destiny I received Cherishing Destiny by author Noelle Blakely for free from my Goodreads book club, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. All thoughts and conclusions are mine, all mine. A new genre of books has emerged in the post-Twilight era, and in this humble reviewer’s opinion it should be called ‘Twilightian’. Or maybe ‘Twi-stopian’. You decide. I can only assume that this is because Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight saga had such a profound impact on women writers (and women in general), and the urge to try to emulate that genius has spawned this new genre. That’s not a bad thing, because I enjoyed Twilight just like the rest of the masses. While this novel is definitely ‘Twi-stopian’, there are several slight differences. One thing I really enjoyed was the depth of information regarding the Were clans. That was a fascinating little twist, and it helped to keep my attention throughout the story. This was definitely an extension of the wolf pack storyline, and the writer was able to paint more details around pack life and communal living for the different Were clans. Another difference is that this story had sex. No PG-rating here, folks. A little gratuitous at times, yes - and it definitely made this novel ‘New Adult’. While I am intrigued to see the role that Sara will play in book 2, at this point she seems to have no other use than to be a playtoy for the vamps. The story is told primarily in flashbacks through the main character’s shared memories with her mother. Different, and has the potential to be a huge win if book 2 expands on it. I assume that the ‘main’ character Destiny will be featured more prominently in book 2, and the writer leaves a strong desire at the end of book 1 to follow the characters’ journeys into the rest of the series. This book is a solid 3.5 stars, and is an enjoyable read. I think that there is a need for another pass at editing/revision, but it’s not so much that it’s distracting. Except for the commas. There, are, a, LOT, of, commas,.