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Authors Cindy C Bennett, Stephanie Fowers, and Sherry Gammon have joined forces for a Christmas anthology. Each has written a romantic Christmas short story with a fantasy theme. There are Elves (think Legolas), Witches, and Greek gods!
While I haven’t read the entire anthology I did read Sherry’s short story Loving Marigold. My review is posted on Goodreads, Amanzon and B&N, and decided to post it here as well.
So here we go:
As with everything else Sherry Gammon writes, I had to read her newest story titled Loving Marigold. What a delight it was. I’m not saying that because I’m afraid Marigold will turn me into a toad but because I truly enjoy the story, the characters, and the plot line.
We find out from the first pages that Marigold, a high school freshman, is a good witch, channeling her gifts and figuring out first love. We also are introduced to Jack Mahoney, the boy that aside from being tall and handsome, also plays basketball and has a lot of girls fawning over him, including the Fartitious Twins.
I liked Jack as soon as he opened his mouth; his sense of humor laced with sarcasm makes him not only funny but he stands out on the page. Next time we meet Jack it’s nine years later, when he returns to the same town he went to school with Marigold. The two of them meet again, soon realizing the sparks they had in high school never died out. Quite the contrary.
Unfortunate circumstances throw the two of them together. Past secrets are brought to the light and their love tested once again. How do they come out of it? Well, that’s something you have to find for yourself.
What I loved about this novella is its fast pace, clean plot line, its innocent romance, a little mystery and great characters. I smiled and laughed out loud many times, Jack’s quirkiness completing Marigold’s wit like peanut butter and jelly—a match made in heaven.
I’ve been a fan of Sherry’s novels ever since she began writing, finding this particular story where her voice shines through. A great read, definitely a keeper for my bookshelf.
The familiar whisperings of witch began as I weaved through the thick crowd. I spotted Jack sitting on a desk, a can of Diet Pepsi in his hand.
“Marigold, I’m glad you came.” He greeted me with a tight grin as he stood and came toward me.
“I was passing by when I saw all of this.” I gestured to the Mylar balloons floating about the room and the blue streamers draped from the lights and across the chalkboard. “I came in to see what’s going on and saw the cake.”
“Really?” he questioned. “Fiona and Felecia said they invited you, but you had a date with some guy you’ve been seeing over in Grantsville.”
For a moment, I could have sworn sadness touched his eyes, but looking closer into the deep pools of brown, I saw nothing.
I let the comment pass, fearing I’d lose my temper over the lie the sisters told him and feed the witch rumors. “Where are you going? Is there a basketball tournament I didn’t know about?”
“No. I . . . Uh, I’m moving to Port Fare, New York.” His voice held a strange chill now. Why is he acting so weird?“The high school there has an awesome basketball team and my parents think I’ll stand a better chance at getting a college scholarship there than I will at Podunk, West Virginia High.”
“Your dad’s giving up his job for the chance that you might get a scholarship?” The move seemed a bit impetuous. Jack had talent, but Dirk, the forward on the team, played better.
“My dad works from home so it doesn’t matter where we li—” Two of Jack’s teammates jumped him from behind and one poured a bottle of Gatorade down his back. Jack howled playfully as I jumped back.
“You’re dead, Cliff,” Jack shouted after the boy with the now empty bottle. “Sorry, Marigold. I have to get a little revenge. Maybe we can talk later.” Jack took off after his teammates and I turned to leave, not wanting to be there another moment. Was I the only one who imagined that the week we’d spent together was special? It also hurt that he so readily believed the twins about my having a boyfriend.
“Why the tears, witch?” Fiona asked. She appeared out of nowhere, blocking my escape route. She propped her hands on her hips, her short denim skirt rode up several inches. Felecia, wearing almost the exact same outfit, mimicked her sister’s pose.
“Excuse me. I don’t want to be late for my bus.” I dropped my gaze downward, too upset to try to deal with their games at the moment. I attempted to go around the obnoxious twins, only they were having none of it.
“You actually believed Jack liked you, didn’t you?” Felecia asked, flicking a strand of my frizzy hair.
I snapped my head up and glared into the girl’s watery gray eyes. “Is that why you lied and told him I had a boyfriend and couldn’t come to the party?” At least, I hoped that was what happened. Because if Jack really didn’t care about me . . . I shivered at the thought.
“We know you’ve put a spell on him, witch. He wanders the halls searching for you between classes, and Fiona caught him doodling your name on his notebook,” Felecia bit out between her clamped teeth. “He’s clearly bewitched.”
“So you’re protecting him from me then?” I asked, stepping toward the twins.
“That’s right.” Fiona offered up a nasty sneer. “I saw him first, and since I can’t compete against your black magic voodoo, I invented a boyfriend for you. Now Jack thinks you’ve been playing both ends.”
I moved even closer as they each crept back. “Wh-what does it matter, witch?” Felicia said, her hands shaking. “He’s leaving in the morning for Port Fare. You would have lost him anyway.”
I stopped. They had a point. What did it matter? The boy I loved was leaving. The only person ever to have defended me against the witch taunts. I turned for the door, but stopped when I heard the twins’ snide laughter. It burned hot in my stomach. Before clearing the door, I casually flipped my hair over my shoulder, or at least I hoped it looked that way to my classmates. In fact, the gesture meant much more. Through my strands of hair, I wiggled my index finger at the Farious twins. A stink rose from the girls so vile people actually tripped over themselves in an effort to escape. When the unmistakable noises started, laughter filled the room and fingers pointed at the girls who would forevermore be known as the Fartious twins.
If someone said that I’d like another werewolf more than Jacob from Twilight, I would’ve laughed and bet a paycheck that it could never ever happen. Luckily, no one challenged me and I still have my paycheck, but not my heart because another hero came and swept me off my feet.
Who is this mystery new guy, you might ask. Let me introduce you to Brandon Ross, a secondary character in the Necromancer’s Seduction by Noemi Ghirghi, writing as Mimi Sebastian. Because of his special place not only in the novel but also in Mimi’s heart, she decided to give him the spotlight as the main hero in The Werewolf’s Devotion.
Brandon is a man with a past he struggles to leave behind. En route to finding peace he meets Solange Neves, a doctor in a small Brazilian town. There’s something about Brandon that made me fall in love with him within pages. It has nothing to do with how handsome he is, but with his heart, his emotions he tries to keep in control, his doubts and forbidden attraction. All of the above made him human, a believable, well-rounded character with qualities and flaws one could easily relate to.
Another aspect I enjoyed is Mimi’s ability to play with words. Her descriptions are clear, elegant and gracious. Like a painter is comfortable with colors and brushes, Mimi paints the surroundings and the characters effortlessly and very vivid. That’s a true talent and I applaud Mimi for it.
The story is short and geared toward the readers of the Necromancer’s Seduction, the first book in the Necromancer Series (urban fantasy). And since this is Mimi’s first release, I applaud her intricate plot development, her unique style and voice. Give her novels a try—you won’t regret it.
As a prize for launching Brandon’s story Mimi is offering The Werewolf’s Seduction as a giveaway via various contests, blog spots, etc. If you comment on her blog today, between now and 12:59 p.m. Arizona time, she’ll pick one commenter to receive the booklet. The winner will be announced tomorrow 10/31.
Good luck everyone!
This hop runs from July 19th – 31st 2013 – and is organized by by MK McClintock. Whether it’s cowboys, wizards on horseback, magical beings in the old west, or pioneers on a wagon train, historical or contemporary all bloggers have awesome giveaways for you. Just stop by and enter their giveaways, it’s something for everyone.
For this hop I decided to give away one e-copy of my favorite western romance titled COOPER’S REDEMPTION by D’ann Lindun.
Now to the fun part. For your chance to win this e-copy all you have to do is . . . I really don’t know. Let me think for a minute. Facebook like … twitter follow … blog follower … hmmm. How about you pick any one of these and leave a comment which one you picked.
This is it! BORN IN SIN no longer belongs to me, but was officially released today May 30th 2013.
To celebrate there are a few places you can stop by and enjoy the fun:
3. At Rambling from A Chaotic Mind for a 4star review posted by Pam. She calls BORN IN SIN “An amazing story told entirely from Zyraxes point of view, which is unusual for a historical romance. I actually enjoyed the man’s view for a change as you get to see why he loves her and what he feels when he thinks she is lost to him.” For her full review go here.
4. At TiffyFit’s Reading Corner for another excellent review and giveaway. Tiffany calls BORN IN SIN, “If you like books on early Roman times, focusing on the wars and skirmishes, seeing flashbacks to the time that was, and enjoy some really great bloody battle scenes, Dacian Legends is for you!” For her full review go here. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway while at her site.
I’m on the road! For three days I’ll be hosted by Orchita @ If The Book Fits talking books. Thank you, Orchita, for being such a great host!
What has Orchita planned?
Well, for the first day we’ll read her review for BORN IN VENGEANCE (Dacian Legends, Book #1) previously published with the title I Was Here–Before You Came and see how she liked it. In a few words she finds it: “5-stars, and those of you who have followed my reviews and ratings on goodreads KNOW how rare that is of late. Read it, rate it, tell your friends to read it, because it’s one of the best non-modern novels I’ve read as of late.” For the whole review click here.
Tomorrow will spend time reading her review of BORN IN SIN (Dacian Legends, #2) coming out May 30th. She calls it, “One of the most major factors that can make or break a historical (in my opinion) is its authenticity. Like with Born in Vengeance, Cami gets it right.” Find the full review here.
And Friday I will answer to the question: “What was it about that time period that drew your attention?” Sounds fun? I hope so.
Oh, and before I forget, remember to enter the rafflecopter on her blog associated with the reviews for your chance to win e-copies of both BORN IN VENGEANCE and BORN IN SIN.
It’s Sunday and like everyone else I do enjoy a lazy-ish day. With my coffee in one hand I grabbed my iPad in the other and sat by the pool until the heat ushered me inside the house. Arizona is already hot.
In case the weather strands you in your home and you would like to read something interesting you might want to stop at Christy’s Cozy Corners blog. She has a ton of books to introduce you to, book reviews, product reviews, giveaways, recipes and much more. One stop for all, right?
Among the wonderful things on her site Christy wrote a review for my upcoming historical release BORN IN SIN. I’m very grateful for her review. If I’m good at books she’s great at writing reviews. Hop over and see it for yourself. Oh, and did I mention she has a giveaway associated with the review? What did I tell you about one stop for all?
Happy Sunday Everyone!