26 May 2012

Book review: Winter Wonders anthology

Winter WondersWinter Wonders by Jenny Twist
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Winter Wonders anthology is of stories that took place in winter, mostly around Christmas time. They all had one thing in common…they warm the heart.

- Christmas Hope by Jane Wakely: 4 stars
What's sweeter than a man who cures animals and genuinely likes them? This story makes a great start for an anthology…Sweet and light on the heart. I'm glad the author didn't forget to punish Simon.

- Christmas Angel by Sharon Donovan: 3 stars
I was torn between liking and disliking the main characters in this tale. On one hand, Oliver came across as a chauvinist when he ordered his wife to have a baby even though they agreed not to before they got married. But then Eve wasn't a sweetheart herself. She was selfish, rude, and flirty with other men in front of her husband. My problem is that even though both characters had flaws, the focus was on Eve's.

- Mantequero by Jenny Twist: 5 stars
Happiness is found through the most outrageous methods and in the oddest of ways. June, overweight and she knows it, has given up on meeting prince charming. She could never be like her sisters, but I have a feeling by the end of the tale she got what she really needed. A well written, thought provoking story…the author went at it from an unexpected (and sweet in it's own way) angle.

- Hearts of Fire by Regina Puckett: 5 stars
Jordan and Samuel belonged together and the author gave them time to reach that goal. The story's development was paced just right to lead to a heartwarming ending. There's something touching about a fireman who has eyes only for his love.

- December Bride by S M Senden: 4 stars
Some people work hard to reach their targets, others take short cuts. Missy is of the latter group. She reached her goal, but at what cost?

- Burgers and Hot Chocolate by Angela Adams: 3 stars
The story is very moving and sweet. The characters were believable and I found myself rooting for them to be together. The problem was the first person POV switch between 3 different characters. Perhaps a dashed or starred scene break would have helped.

- Long Winter by Paul McDermott: 3 stars
Tom is a lonely man whose life is cold and desolate. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story but wish there were a stronger reason for the thaw at the end.

- If Only by Janet Durbin: 3 stars
If only I could understand the secret behind the instant attraction between Raymond and Jenny. I believe in love at first sight but usually there's something more plausible afterwards to sustain it.

- Saving Santa by Melissa Hosack: 5 stars
This tale is a creative and light take on how Santa finds and marries his missus. Santa hasn't been this sexy in fiction (at least the fiction I read.) I thoroughly enjoyed how he handled his future wife. A very suitable last story to end the anthology.

A definite recommendation to read any time of the year, but will be perfect on those cold nights in winter. Fireplace is for wimps :-)

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25 May 2012

Hellbound's Signature Cake

It pays off to have a foodie for a sister.
Muna (owner of MunatyCooking) read Hellbound and couldn't help transforming her feelings to a cake. We've named it Choco Diavolo and you can read my guest post about it, see it, and get its recipe here:
You can also see the devil's reaction to the cake :-)

Please stop by and leave a comment...we'd love to hear from you.

16 May 2012

Book Review: Tales from Imagination's Closet by M. Allman

Tales from Imagination's ClosetTales from Imagination's Closet by M. Allman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

29 stories! Each unique, intriguing, and touching in its own way. I couldn't stop reading, the "just one more and then I'll sleep" promise was repeated several times a night.
My personal favorites are "Existence," "The Guardian," "My Friend, Clarence," and "The Roads Not Traveled."
The book is a mix of genres, sure to satisfy different tastes. I wish the book received stronger editing, despite that, M. Allman's imagination managed to shine through.
I'm sure the author's imagination isn't dry yet, I hope she's planning another collection of short and intriguing fiction

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06 May 2012

Spellbound 2011 by Multiple Authors

Spellbound 2011Spellbound 2011 by Jenny Twist
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is rare to find a book that is aptly titled to befit the stories within it. It is also surprising to like every story in an anthology. Spellbound 2011 scores on both accounts.

Without giving the stories away, Spellbound 2011 has werewolves, a possible vampire, a haunted house…among other elements of the darker fiction. Each author succeeded in building a tense tale that drew me in until the last word in each. The book is like a quilt, each section created by a different person, yet all the pieces fit together to make it one complete masterpiece.

I'm already familiar with Jenny Twist's masterful writing, now I have 8 new authors (for me) to check out.

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