One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by: Washington Square Press
Reviewed by: Madison
What to Expect: A well written story that forces you to reflect on the different versions of yourself. Prepare yourself with tissues. Read More
Anna Zabo joins Sounds Like Halloween with a scene from Close Quarter.
About Close Quarter:
On a transatlantic cruise to New York, sculptor Rhys Matherton struggles to piece his life back together after losing his mother, inheriting a fortune, and finding out his father isn’t his father after all. He spills a tray of drinks on a handsome stranger, then he finds himself up against a wall getting the best hand-job he’s ever had. And for the first time in his life, he feels whole.
Rhys enjoys the company of Silas Quint, but for the eerie way no one pays attention to them even while they kiss in a crowded bar. Silas explains he’s a forest fae able to glamor the room around them—and more importantly, that he’s on the cruise to hunt vampires. Rhys thinks Silas is full of it, until he discovers vampires are real, and he’s part of their main course.
Silas Quint can’t be distracted by a human lover, even one as lovely as Rhys. Stuck in the middle of the ocean, he has barely enough of energy to hunt the vampires he’s been sent to destroy. Rhys is full of the one thing Silas needs needs most—the element of living plants. Only sucking energy from Rhys would make Silas as soulless as the creatures he hunts. How can he keep Rhys safe, without becoming like the very monsters he hunts?
About Anna Zabo:
Anna Zabo writes contemporary and paranormal romance for all colors of the rainbow. They live and work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which isn’t nearly as boring as most people think.
Anna grew up in the wilds of suburban Philadelphia before returning to their ancestral homelands in Western Pennsylvania. As a child they were heartily disappointed to discover that they couldn’t grow up to be what they wanted (a boy, a cat, a dragon), so they settled on being themself whenever possible, which may be a combination of a boy, a cat, and a dragon. Or perhaps a girl, a knight, and a writer. Depends on whom you ask. They do have a penchant for colorful ties and may be hording a small collection of cufflinks. They can be easily plied with coffee.
Anna has an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, where they fell in with a roving band of romance writers and never looked back. They also have a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. You can find Anna on Twitter as @amergina, at annazabo.com, or in their Facebook group.
Get Close Quarter now on Amazon.
Learn more about the Sounds Like Halloween audio series, including authors taking part & what you can expect, here.
Shadows of Ourselves by Apollo Blake
Published by: Self-published
Genre: urban fantasy/queer fiction
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Edwin
What to Expect: Remarkably ambitious urban fantasy with fascinating world-building. A young writer brimming with ideas, though a few rough edges do show through. Read More
Published by: Bold Strokes Books
Format: Kindle edition
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance (possibly mm but there’s an alien so…it’s actually m/a?)
Reviewed by: Judith
While the cover has been the subject of many a disturbing tweet (note to publishers: that cover is not…the greatest. You think I kid but I’m asking seriously, why would you use that? I would never in a million years have purchased this book except for the urging of trusted sources. No, really, not at all. EVER. It’s – what’s the word? Oh yes, AWFUL), the book itself is a rich and beautifully written find that lingered far longer than it should have and actually had me questioning my own humanity at points. It’s a rare romance novel that is able to do that!
On your birthday, does the internal monologue run a little something like this?
“I am fierce! FIERCE! You bought that cake for me, right?! Of course you did! It’s my day. I can eat the whole thing if I want to. Yum-my! Costco makes a mean sheet cake and it is all mine…no, you can’t have any. Get your grubby stubs off my cake! Whew, close one. That kid almost got a bite of my cake but I showed her…ooh presents! For me??? Aw, man, that kid is back and eyeing my cake. Hands off!”
So the other day, my husband’s niece asked me, “How come you don’t do anything but read? I mean, you’re always on your kindle.”
I stared at her, dumbfounded. The kid is four so her idea of always is a little skewed. And how the heck does she know what a kindle is for that matter? “No, I’m not,” I said and even to myself it sounded a bit shrill. “I have plenty of other interests.”
“Like what? You’re always reading something.”
As my husband smirked at me from the couch, I realized that she was a) far too perceptive for a four year old and b) 100% correct. I am always on my kindle. It’s beside me when I wake up; it follows me to the coffee maker; is my constant companion as I get ready in the morning (hell, I even read the thing while blow drying my hair!); and it’s the last thing I see before drifting off each night.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with reading but if I were to tell everyone around me that all I do is read YA fiction, they’d probably smirk like hubby and tell me to get another hobby. Because hobbies like knitting or skeet shooting are somehow more acceptable these days than reading a feel good book where the main character is generally a spunky, intelligent girl who over the course of the story learns and grows from various mistakes while either winning or losing the guy. Case in point: A friend of mine recently tried to coerce me into giving up the password on my kindle so he could check out what I’m reading. He’s evidently some sort of highbrow, book snob because when I mentioned it was a YA novel, he dropped
the thing as if it were covered in anthrax. He just didn’t get it.
YA fiction is good. Okay, better than good. It’s fantastic. And I’m hellbent on spreading the word and making converts of us all. I use a highly scientific review system that examines the following:
How much did I like the heroine:
How much did I like the love interest:
How believable is the plot:
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc:
How much did I want to keep reading:
****The droolworthiness of the main love interest has been known to add bonus points to a review. Likewise, the amount of self-worth the main character places in her relationship with a love interest subtracts points (Yes, Bella Swan I’m pointing a finger at you!)