Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Review: MAKE BELIEVE by Various Authors

Title: Make Believe
Authors: J.A. Belfield, Jennifer M. Eaton, J. Keller Ford, Terri Rochenski, Lynda R. Young, and Kelly Said
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing (December 3, 2012)
Format: eARC anthology
Source: Publisher
Genre: Fantasy

SACRIFICIAL OATH by Terri Rochenski
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.

There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.

BIRTHRIGHT by Lynda R. Young
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.

PETRIFIED by Kelly Said
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.

LAST WINTER RED by Jennifer M. Eaton
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.

The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.

From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.

Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.

Review: Selkies, witches, shapeshifters, and more come to life in the short story collection Make Believe by Terri Rochenski, J. Keller Ford, Lynda R. Young, Kelly Said, Jennifer M. Eaton, and J.A. Belfield.

Alesuela discovers her impetuous behavior comes at a high price in “Sacrificial Oath” by Terri Rochenski. Elton is running out of time to save his brother in “The Amulet of Ormisez” by J. Keller Ford. Christa finds she can’t run away from some things in “Birthright” by Lynda R. Young. As his kingdom suffers under a strange magical winter, Sterling must find the one who can save his cursed land in “Petrified” by Kelly Said. Emily’s world is about to turn upside down in “Last Winter Red” by Jennifer M. Eaton. Whoever knew hiring an escort could be so dangerous in “Escort to Insanity” by J.A. Belfield.

The authors of Make Believe rose to the challenge to create stories based off the cover. Each story is different, endearing, and heartwarming. Although these are short stories, the characters and world leap off the pages and incite the reader’s imagination. I loved the ancient world where goddesses and oaths still hold sway in Rochenski’s “Sacrificial Oath.” Ford’s “The Amulet of Ormisez” excites with the magical lands and a kingdom of selkies. Young pulls the reader into the conflicted heart of Christa, who can run but not hide from who she is, in “Birthright.” Said’s short story is classic fantasy, and the world is beautiful and fantastical. It made me want to read more about the wiccae in “Petrified.” Eaton’s “Last Winter Red” introduces an intriguing dystopian society, and I would love to read more about the Reds and the Grays. I loved the voice of the protagonist Nicole Harrington and the hot chemistry between her and Benjamin Gold in Belfield’s “Escort to Insanity.”

Make Believe by Terri Rochenski, J. Keller Ford, Lynda R. Young, Kelly Said, Jennifer M. Eaton, and J.A. Belfield has something for every fantasy lover. Each story I read I wanted to proclaim my favorite of the collection!

Five Bookworms = I loved it!