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review 2018-02-09 15:34
All the Names They Used For God by Anjali Sachdeva
All the Names They Used for God: Stories - Anjali Sachdeva

ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD is a collection of short literary fiction stories, the last two of which were absolutely brilliant.

 

The tales in this book are all over the place, but I think it's all the different facets of humanity that link them all together. No two stories here are even remotely alike and I enjoyed that diversity.

 

Among my favorites were:

 

LOGGING LAKE which involved a strange happening at an ill advised campsite.

 

ALL THE NAMES THEY USED FOR GOD which was a heartbreaking story of two young girls who were kidnapped and forever changed by it.

 

ROBERT GREENMAN AND THE MERMAID: Once we glimpse something fantastic,(in the true sense of the word), it is very difficult to let it go.

 

MANUS was probably my favorite story here. After so many tales involving ordinary life, here's one that is totally out of left field. Gripping, poignant, and so creative-I'll never look at a human hand in the same way again.

 

And finally, PLEIADES: I don't even know what to say about this story. It's powerful, beautifully written and well told. I doubt anyone could read it and remain unmoved.

 

I liked the tales in this collection, but until the last two I didn't feel that this volume was anything special. MANUS and PLEIADES elevated this book to something really special in my eyes, and I highly recommend this book to fans of literary and speculative fiction.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the free e-ARC in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

 

**Also, thanks to my fellow book blogger Cody for turning me on to this collection. You can find his excellent reviews here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/56352820-cody-codysbookshelf **

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review 2018-02-04 19:18
Gather The Gentlemen
Another Place in Time - KJ Charles, Jordan L. Hawk , Aleksandr Voinov, Kaje Harper,Tamara Allen,Joanna Chambers

Office Romance by Tamara Allen- 


" There has to be more to life than measurable benefits. What about values we can't calculate in hours or dollars? If this is all we fought for... " 
Tamara never fails to send me emotionally exactly where she wants me to be with her stories...I loved the way she portrayed the historical period with all its difficulties and struggles. The main characters are two men who seem so improbable to to fall for each other at first and i really liked their interactions and the way their relationship developed. 

Introducing Mr. Winterbourne by Joanna Chambers-


My first encounter with the author. I found her story quite entertaining. So entertaining, that I got some of her other books, which I can't wait to read. 

The Ruin of Gabriel Ashleigh by KJ Charles-


What did I get into with that one...
I will not praise the style of writing, the story or the characters. I will only confess I finished the rest of the books in the series for less than a week after reading this short story. 

Unfair in Love and War by Kaje Harper- 


It definitely made me feel differently from the way the other stories in the anthology did. For some reason it made me feel nostalgic and even sad in some moments. The characters seemed quite honest and real - I really liked that one.


Carousel by Jordan L. Hawk


I have read the Whyborne and Griffin, Books 1-3: Widdershins, Threshold, and Stormhaven, and Carousel was another entertaining episode of the two characters' adventures. I cannot say if the story would appeal to me the same way hadn't I read the rest of the books though...

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov - 


I have a special attitude towards Voinov's books, since he's one of the first MM novelists I encountered, and I always, always have great expectations from his works. I haven't read The Lion of Kent yet, and perhaps this is why I could not fully understand the characters' motives. I might get back to Deliverance again, having read William's story.

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review 2018-01-28 15:45
Dark Screams: Volume Nine
Dark Screams: Volume Nine - Kelley Armstrong,Richard Chizmar,Stewart O'Nan,Brian James Freeman,Peter Straub

DARK SCREAMS: VOLUME NINE was a ton of fun! I was most especially impressed with the last entry TORN by Lee Thomas.

 

I'm not even going to get into what TORN was about because I think it should be related exactly as the author intended. I will say that even though this is a longer story than I usually care for in an anthology, it kept me riveted, it was original and I LOVED it!

 

THE DEAD YEARS by Taylor Grant was another original entry and this one had a science fiction bent to it that I enjoyed. I would love to see this idea expanded to a full length novel.

 

SUMMER OF 07 by Stewart O'Nan. A super short story that reminded me of Ted Bundy.

 

THE BLACKOUT by Jonathan Moore was an unsettling tale mostly set at the morgue.

 

INVITATION TO THE GAME by Kelly Armstrong. This was another tale that had a science fiction bent to it, in my view. It's about a corporation that controls, (or attempts to control?) all aspects of its employees lives. When they send you an invitation, it is unwise to decline.

 

Lastly, there was a story from Peter Straub: VARIATIONS ON A THEME FROM SEINFELD. I admit that the reason I requested an ARC of this book was due to Straub. I have such love for him and for Seinfeld, for that matter, but this story didn't do much for me.

 

Overall, I had fun with this volume, (most especially the story TORN!), and I recommend it to dark fiction and science fiction lovers everywhere!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to Hydra for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2018-01-17 15:39
Hardened Hearts edited by Eddie Generous
Hardened Hearts - Eddie Generous,Somer Canon,Calvin Demmer,Gwendolyn Kiste,Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi,Meg Elison,Theresa Braun,Laura Blackwell,John Boden,Kathleen W. Deady,James R. Newman

 

HARDENED HEARTS contains dark fiction stories connected by the theme of love-all kinds of love. This book's strength is in its diversity. It covers so many facets of the subject, there's something here for everyone.

 

The tales that stood out for me were:

 

Calvin Demmer's story WHAT IS LOVE. This story knocked my socks off and I will be tracking down more from this author!

 

THE HEART OF THE ORCHARD by Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. This read almost like a warped fairy tale, and as we all know, fairy tales can often be quite grim.

 

PINK BALLOON by Tom Deady was my favorite story in the book. It totally broke my heart.

 

HEIRLOOM by Theresa Braun. I love tales about mirrors and this was an excellent example of why. This was my first experience with Theresa Braun's work and we are off to a good start.

 

THE RECLUSE by John Boden. Short and sweet, Boden always impresses me.

 

ClASS OF 2000 by Robert Dean. I guess the moral of this tale is not to mess with someone that can throw a baseball at 100 mph. It seems like common sense to me.

 

BURNING SAMANTHA by Scott Hallum. I had never previously heard of Scott, but he's on my radar now.

 

50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR MONSTER LOVER by Gwendolyn Kiste. Here is another author that I haven't had any experience with but whose story was impressive.

 

Lastly, IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO by J.L. Knight. A heartbreaking story about love and loss. Poignant and dark all at the same time.

 

 

9 of the 17 tales resonated deeply with me and that's above average, so I rounded up my original rating from 3 to 4 stars. I have some new authors to follow and I think they are offering up original work which only improves the genre. Bravo!

 

Recommended for fans of diverse dark fiction!

 

*Thanks to John Boden for providing an e-ARC of this anthology in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

 

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review 2018-01-15 17:30
Audio Review: Hexed by Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein
Hexed - Ilona Andrews,Allyson James,Yasmine Galenorn,Jeanne C. Stein
Hexed

Kate Daniels #4.5, Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #9.5 , Stormwalker #2.5, Anna Strong Chronicles #6.5
Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, Jeanne C. Stein, ( Narrator: Renée Raudman), ( Narrator: Cassandra Campbell)
Paranormal Romance - Urban Fantasy - Anthologies
Tantor Audio
May 10th 2014
Audiobook
12 hours and 25 minutes
Library

 

From best-selling authors Ilona Andrews, Yasmine Galenorn, Allyson James, and Jeanne C. Stein comes an anthology of four all-new novellas featuring powerful women who know how to handle a hex or two.

 

In "Double Hexed" from Allyson James, a novella of the Stormwalker series, Janet and her friends find themselves locked in her hotel, victims of a hex cast by a very powerful sorcerer. And, as they work to release the spell before the sorcerer kills them all, they realize that their worst enemies just might be themselves.

 

In "Blood Debt" from Jeanne C. Stein, bounty-hunter-turned-vampire Anna Strong is visited by three witches who ask her to right an old magical wrong. Anna will have to live up to her name to make it through alive.

 

In "Magic Dreams" from Ilona Andrews, old legends and frightening nightmares come to life. The shapeshifting Tigress Dali Harimau finds herself in deep water when she must challenge a dark being to a battle of wits, or risk losing the man she secretly longs for.

 

Finally, in Yasmine Galenorn's "Ice Shards," Iris Kuusi, a Finnish house sprite who lives with the D'Artigo sisters, must journey to the frozen Northlands to confront the crazed shadow of the former lover she's accused of murdering, so she can break the curse keeping her from marrying the man she loves. This is a must-listen collection for fans of the paranormal.

 

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

 

 

I picked up this Anthology to listen to the novella Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels #4.5) only. I LOVE the Kate Daniels series and have been listening to the books and loving them all over again. Instead of just listening to Magic Dreams I went ahead and listened to all four novellas; Magic Dreams, Ice Shards, Double Hexed, and Blood Debt. This Anthology was interesting and each novella was different and enjoyable to listen too.

 

Magic Dreams – 5 Stars

 

Here we get Jim & Dali, two shapeshiftes in the Cat Clan. If you are familiar with the Kate Daniels series then you have an idea of who these two are. Jim shows up in the first book and Dali shows up in the third book, but here we get to see more into them, their insecurities, and mating dance. Lots of fun to listen too and learn more about these two.

 

The Narrator: Renée Raudman did a superb job with the narration. The audiobook brings out the emotions, characters, mystery, and adventure.

 

Ice Shards – 4 Stars

 

Ice Shards takes place in the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon #9.5 series. I haven’t tried this series yet, but do have book one on my TBR. This novella has made me want to bump up trying out Yasmine Galenorn. Iris has to face her past. I like how her past is weaved into the now. I found this novella interesting and entertaining.

 

The Narrator: Cassandra Campbell did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the Irish accent given to Iris and all the other different voices for the other characters.

 

Double Hexed – 3 Stars

 

Double Hexed is part of the Stormwalker #2.5 series. This one I felt lost and like I was missing something. The familiar connections between the characters just wasn’t their for me. All the people introduced are friends, acquaintances, or a lover. This novella focused on Janet the main character in the Stormwalker series. We also get Coyote the God, Mike a dragon, Cassandra a witch, Ansel a Nightwalker, and a few others. Theirs a cute/hex on the inn that Janet runs. Their more dark primal instances are coming out. This novella wan’t working so well for me. It didn’t make me want to go out and pick up the Stormwalkerseries.

 

The Narrator: She did a good job. The voices where unique and you could distinguish between the different characters.

 

Blood Debt – 4 Stars

 

Blood Debt is Anna Strong Chronicles #6.5 series. We meet Anna a bounty hunter/vampire. Something in her past is coming back to bit her in the butt. We learn about her, her past, and how she was turned. She’s got to defend her actions in an otherworld court. Not just her life, but another’s is on the line. It’s interesting. Anna is determined to protect those who can’t defend themselves. I’m curious to try the Anna Strong Chronicles series. It sounds like it has adventure, mystery, and fun characters.

 

The Narrator: She did a wonderful job. All the voices where alive and unique. The story came alive.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s) (2017): Pick Your Genre (PNR/UF) | Backlist Reader | Library Love

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/01/audio-review-hexed-by-ilona-andrews-yasmine-galenorn-allyson-james-jeanne-c-stein
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