Dragon’s Bounty is the first book of a new historical and fantasy series called Dracula’s Love by S. Joy P.
Since I finished this book, actually since I started this book and actually had to close the book up to see if I had the right one, I have pondered what the hell my feelings are towards it and let me tell you right here and now, it is a hate love relationship.
This is not a book you grab as you walk out the door for a day on the beach. It will take your full attention, both in a good and bad way because it is quite difficult to get into but when you have it is like a dark sky that explodes into a blue ocean with the sun standing high.
It is a book with so much colorful description that there comes a point when I had to stop reading and start turning pages to see "hello when do I get some people on people interaction because I'm going nuts here". It is a book that when you finished it no matter if you like it or not you just know you will read, however, many other books this series will hold, each and everyone of them because you will have to know what more battles will Vlad and his men Iancon, Marin, Lion and let’s not forget the God of Love who has descended to earth to be close to the mortal man he loves like Romeo loved Juliet, Love the Englishman.
Why don’t we start with Love since the book starts with him, and honestly the man drove me absolutely bonkers, especially, in the beginning with his obsessiveness over this Vlad man that we had no freaking idea who or what he was. But Love is the reason the first 30% of the book is worth reading without him and talking to his companion Motudd. He is a man with devotion, loyalty, and passion in spades. He is a man to look up too because he doesn’t change his mind as things becomes difficult to avoid the hardships, and this is something even Vlad Dracula, the Warrior Prince, realizes is a value any leader can ask for. Love, as I said, drove me bonkers in the beginning, at that point being nothing but a slave working the mines and fields for Vlad. He was for the lack of a better word acting like a love sick puppy, a poor, dirty, lice "walked away" with his hair filthy and starving puppy, and still all he could do was to pine after Vlad Dracula.
After the magic 30% point, where the massive discription somehow ended, the more I read the better Dragon’s Bounty became. S. Joy has not only created a world but characters, that mind you now are all pretty vicious and plain evil (including dearest Love and the things he does throughout the book in the name of love is all of it far from fair) but that you will like spite their cruelty. One one page you will cringe, wrinkle your nose and go eww only to on the next page after the bloody battles are done and the same men sit around a fire or table eating showing their comradery for each other, you will go awe ain’t that nice, and smile feeling relieved that there’s some humanity left in these men after all.
The relationship between Vlad and Love, is slow burning, and with slow burning I mean slow like imagine the slowest burning love story you ever read and then quadruple it by ten and you have the slow burning passion and friendship between these two very different yet, similar men. It needs to be slow burning, if S. Joy had made it happen in any other way than she has then Love’s obsession would have become a stalkerish insane kind, that would have needed the men with white lab coats to come get him. Instead Love’s passionate and deep burning love for the dark Warrior Prince becomes this grand epic story of unconditional love that makes you want to be Love and how it changes or rather shows a different side of Vlad or as he’s also called Dragwlya.
The side characters to this story mostly other men and warriors of Prince Vlad’s army and closes guard, Iancon, Marin, Lion and later on Adam are spot on, I love these men all for being their own set of men with their own voice and yet they behave accordingly to the rules that S. Joy has set up for them. They enhance the story and strong emotional bond that all these men share with each other, and gives you behind the battle scene moments that makes you feel compassion for them. The one scene that sticks in my mind the one scene that is the most prominent of the story with so much heart that it not only made me cry but made me want to scream just like Love did was the end scene with Adam. It broke me in a way that I wasn’t prepared for.
In conclusion, I would have loved to have given this story a five-star review, I really would but I can’t because the very long, and overly descriptiveness at some parts killed made it hard for me to focus, there were too many times when I caught myself thinking about other things and where I had no idea what I read for the past couple pages so I had to go back and re-read. But it is well worth the read because the story that is told between is a wonderful story of the power of camaraderie, loyalty, and love, in the interaction between a handful of well thought out characters that you learn to mostly love!
You can find S. Joy P. at the following social medias:
Shorts: Stories from beneath the Rainbow by Hans Hirschi is the newest of the author’s many book and as the title suggests a book filled with short stories, some just a few pages and some almost at novella length but in this book there is a story for everyone. There are stories in here that for me stuck out more than others, and I have decided to share my thoughts about three of them.
The first story, that stuck out more than others and for me, and it is very obvious to why it is this one, is the short story titled Nightmare, not only is it written in complete Hirschi style it hit home in a way that felt like being railroaded. It was a long time ago I felt physically nauseated reading a story because it felt so real and you looked over your shoulder at the world you live in and in doing so you could see what he describe happen for real. The fact that I knew the people it is about, well, that only made it so much real because their faces were etched inside my mind as I read. Creepy to say the least! And god awful too real to be anything but a pure Nightmare!
The second story, that comes to mind is the Scarf. I was warned about this short story about the annoying character and the awfulness of his persona. After reading it, and even now as I write this, I have to go back to the see if I’ve read the same story as everyone else because I honestly don’t get it. Jimmy is just a dude, his reaction to what happens isn’t that odd nor is it that uncommon. People just think acting like a Hollywood hero is the norm when a crime is committed when in fact a lot of people don’t not because they are assholes but because one half the people who see a crime committed doesn’t realize it until too late (ask me I know) it goes very fast and by the time you react the crime is more or less over or moved else where. Two, human nature is not to stay and fight it is to run and hide. So, from my perspective Jimmy is one of the most real and to an extent empathetic people in this book. I’d even go so far to saying the author’s own perspective of him is slightly unfair since the expectations on Jimmy is more than his human nature made him to be.
The third, and last story I want to share is the Slasher, now color me amazed that this story comes from the master mind of Hirschi, it sort of scares me and I wonder how smart it is to be alone in the same room as this man. (And that was joke for those who doesn’t know me or Hirschi). No, but seriously the main character of this story is a serial killer and it takes a certain skill to write a character like that, at least in my opinion. And that makes me think about Jimmy again, the strong reactions towards him when we have a real psychotic killer a few stories down and no one had anything to say? Maybe it is easier to relate to psychotic killer than a human being with the self-preservation of his own species. I have no idea, but this story turned me off like a cold shower and I mean that in a good way. It is disgustingly creepy and puts you in the mind of a killer. Blech! Well done Hans Hirschi!
It is hard to write this review without saying, I don’t like short stories, but I really do liked these. Some were too short for me to get a true feel for the character or their situation, but the stories that I loved (the three mentioned and a few others) they really made a great impact on me and has you thinking long after you finished reading. No matter if that thought is in pure disgust because it was that horrible, or you felt like yelling at the author for scaring you half to death or feeling sorry for a character who is so misunderstood. My heart really goes out for Jimmy and I think in a way I probably like him the best of all the characters portrayed in this book.
What should be said is that in reading Shorts: Stories from beneath the Rainbow you as a reader will get the chance to see the width and depth of a great storytellers mind, Hans Hirschi’s mind and that shouldn't be missed out on!
And to my very very good friend, Congratulations to yet another great book to be read over and over!
You can find Hans on the following social medias:
Hans Hirschi’s website
Beaten Track Publishing
#Free Short story #TheTrainStation and two more stories by #AlpMortal all for #Free
This is a short, fun and erotic story, as erotic as I will ever write, for you all to enjoy for #Free.
When asked by Alp if I wanted to contribute a short story for his blog, where he from time to time shares his own work, I was thrilled and very flattered by the chance to do so, since Alp is not only a good friend but a great author himself.
Also, at the time I was editing (still am) a book I wrote called Love of the Game and an idea hit me, something I wanted to try to write and was tying to do with my full length novel but didn't know how well it would turn out. So, I used this as a perfect time to not only write something fun to share with both Alp and you guys but to spread my wings and see how well I did. Personally, I have to say I am pretty happy with the outcome.
In this short story of mine you'll meet Johannes Alm, a Swedish SHL (Swedish Hockey League) player, a year before Love of the Game takes place.
Blurb for The Train Station:
Johannes Alm is at the starting point of his career as a professional hockey player, when on his way to Stockholm for an event his train gets delayed leaving him with too much time to kill. Bored he gives his lover, Adam, a call hoping to be invited over for a quick tumble in bed but Adam has something else in mind. Before Johannes knows it he's been lured into a game of hide and go seek, the kinky kind, right there at the Train Station.
And for all it is worth don't miss out on Alp Mortal's two freebies, #TheLocksmith is by far a big all time favorite short stories of mine and knocked me off my feet when I read it. Just ask Alp my initial reaction to reading it.
Thank you a million Alp for including me in this very fun project! hugs!
The Reflections of Queen Snow White is a novel written by David Meredith. David emailed me a couple months ago and after he himself finding and looking at my blog asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book he wrote and after reading what he sent me I agreed to do it because it sounded really interesting.
First of all the book is as the title suggest is about Snow White, the character from the fairy-tale with the same name, but what happens after Charming, the prince that kisses Snow White awake after eating the apple of the evil stepmother. I have never read a book like this before, I’ve heard of their existence but never encountered one.
When I started reading it I think my expectations were that I thought that David Meredith would start off where the famous fairy-tale ended, but he didn’t, instead we meet a Queen Snow White that is in deep mourning after losing her dearest husband and best friend, Charming to old age, which in it itself is quite sad, because really what good can come from this. So, I will admit I was sorta angry with David for the coming couple chapters for pulling the rug that early on.
But as the story goes on, and I will not reveal any details because the small odd things that happen here and there as David’s version of the story of Snow White and his own story of Queen Snow White unfolds, they are the quirks that make the book so good, they are the reasons that you keep turning the page wanting to know what they mean and why Snow White is seeing what she is seeing. What is going to happen to Snow White? What does the intruder, if that is what we can call it or him, want? What is the moral of the story?!
What I like the most about the story is that it is sweet and gentle, which means there’s no bloodshed no overly dramatic scenes with anyone’s life being threatened (well… besides that one little incident *winks*), but David still manages to keep you interested throughout the book. It is the details of the emotional journey that Snow White takes, the epiphanies she has throughout the book that does that and to have that even curvy road of ups and downs that not only keeps you interested but also makes the book flow well is in my mind hard to do. It requires an author who know’s what he or she wants to say, what the purpose of their tale is and what it is they want their reader to feel. It’s like guiding your reader blindfolded through a maze. If I was to criticize anything it would be the ending, it sort of wrapped up a little too fast for my personal taste but it wasn’t bad or so quickly done that it ruined the book.
In conclusion, the Reflections of Queen Snow White is a book I highly recommend to anyone who likes familiar faces covered in new flavors, for the reader who like something different but light and interesting to read a sunny afternoon or by the beach between swims in the ocean. The book starts out heavy but leaves you light and feeling hopeful, something that always put a bounce in my step.
Also, I’m grateful for David Meredith for emailing me because otherwise, this would have been a book that had passed me by. I will most definitely keep an eye out for more books by David to see what he come up with.
You can find David Meredith at the following Social Medias:
Dreamer, Writer, Reader and Metal Head.