Tag Archives: Fantasy/Romance

The Last Wolf, by Maria Vale

16 Feb
Cover or The Last Wolf; the face of a wolf, yellow eyes watching out the cover, superimposed over the bare torso of a man, his head bowed.

I’m trying to do SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge this year, and the theme this month is ‘fairy tales’. What could be easier, right? Genre romance is chock-full of Beauty and the Beast retellings 1 , to say nothing of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the rest.

Of course, as I scrolled through my digital TBR shelves and scanned the print TBR cordillera of Doom, not one title jumped out and yelled, “me, me! I’m an obvious fairy tale retelling”. 2

Which is why I have decided that wolf shifters in the woods totally works. (Because Red Riding Hood. Work with me here, people.)

Reader beware: abusive parent, graphic violence, graphic language, sex on page, maternal death, stillbirth. Narrated in first person present tense.

Also, I go on a bit of a rant.

Continue reading

“Cooley’s Panther” and “Stalking Evan”, by Jody Wallace

31 Jan
Cover for Stalking Evan. The same white men and woman from the previous cover, faces touching, her eyes looking out to the reader. There's a black panther walking on the top of the title.

I want to highlight these two short-short stories as an example of how to establish intriguing worldbuilding in a very tight word count.

Genre romance readers, please note that while there’s a strong romance thread in both of these, there’s no HEA per se.

Continue reading

A Touch of Stone and Snow, by Milla Vane

10 Jan
A Touch of Stone and Snow cover shows a muscular white man, midriff bared, wearing a chaimmail cowl, and bit of pieces of plated armor around his neck, top of the right shoulders, the waist, skins or fabric underneath, holding a steel sword, tip down.

Once again, first things first: heed all the warnings. The world of A Gathering of Dragons is very, very dark.

These are romances, there is always consent between the protagonists, the world building is very progressive in its sexual politics, but the background is of violence, sexual and otherwise. There’s gore and a lot of very explicit sex on the page, and the language reflect this. Also, while considerably shorter than the first novel, this one is still almost 400 pages. Reader, beware.

Continue reading

A Heart of Blood and Ashes, by Milla Vane

7 Jan
A Heart of Blod and Ashes cover shows a muscular white man, barechested, wearing a pelt over his right shoulders, and some sort of leather garment covering from wait to mid thigh, and what look like tall boots

Once upon a time, I read a novella called “The Beast of Blackmoor”, from the Night Shift anthology. Like all the best short stories, it introduced me to a world I got utterly lost into, where I wanted more, more, MORE!

Years passed, and while that novella was the one memorable one in the anthology, I stopped checking the author’s website for updates on upcoming books (oh, reader slump from hell, you most hideous of fiends!). Then, on the last day of the horrible, terrible, no-good year of our doom 2021, a tweet crossed my feed: the first two full-length books in the series were on sale for just $1.99US each. What’s a reader to do?

Continue reading