Novella Review: Awakening by Kitty Thomas

Awakening is the second short length story available from Kitty Thomas, The Auction (see review here) being the first. I remember the cover for The Auction and not being sure if I liked the classical look or not. Now seeing this cover with it, I’m rather enjoying it. They go well together, don’t you think? I received my copy of Awakening from the author. The blurb from Ms. Thomas’ website:

Nerina has lived all her life as a mermaid, fascinated by humans and land but also repulsed by sex and unable to understand love. Her curiosity gets her captured by a human male intent on awakening her lust and turning her human. But Nerina doesn’t believe the legend is real and fears Kyros will kill her when he learns she can’t transform.

This work is a novella of 21,500 words which will take the average reader 1 to 2 hours to read, depending on personal reading speed. The work is “meant” to be short.

For those unfammiliar with Kitty’s work, this story in many respects is more “tame” than some of her other work, but it is still erotica with a master/slave and kidnap element.

Awakening is meant to be a mermaid fairy tale for adults.

I’m usually not into mermaid like tales. However, I thought this had quite a realistic feel to it (as far as mermaids and realism go). 🙂 They were truly half fish/half human. None of that Splash nonsense where all you have to do is dry off the fins and they grow legs. Nope, the fish portion stayed fish, and they even reproduced like fish. Weird? Yeah… but totally believable.

The style of Awakening was presented a bit differently than Ms. Thomas’ other works. In fact, I thought I was reading a prologue of sort when I started, as the front was loaded with background information. It didn’t take long to realize I was in the actual story, and Nerina was narrating. Another interesting note about the style: this work had a feel to it as if Nerina was reminiscing about past events. That is, her story was already said and done, but she wanted to tell her experience so she wouldn’t be forgotten. Different. I don’t know if that was the author’s intent or not, but it made me think of reading someone’s diary.

Like the Auction, Awakenings was quite a bit milder as far as the BSDM goes. In fact, the BDSM was implied it would happen in the future rather than occurring onscreen. Instead, Awakening focused on coaxing Nerina into becoming a sexual being rather than dominating her. No spoilers here, so you’ll have to read Awakening for yourself to see how that works out.

Though this was a short work, which was fine, I had hoped for more. Without giving anything away, the ending didn’t quite give me the closure I’d hope for. All the issues were addressed, but one item seemed to be left in limbo.

Kitty Thomas has a list of fun facts on her website about Awakening, which I found interesting:

  • Nerina is a Greek name that literally means: “Sea Nymph”.
  • Kyros is also a Greek name. It means power that is legitimate but compassionate. Despos is generally the term used for power over a slave and Kyros was the term more used for power over a wife or someone for whom you care about their overall well-being.
  • Meropis is the island upon which the story takes place and it’s a mythical island that I did not create but is part of mythology and sometimes associated in some way with Atlantis. Anostos, the portion of the island that the story takes place on, is as mythology describes, covered in a red, cloudy haze.

Awakening

by Kitty Thomas

is available at:

Smashwords

Barnes & Nobles

Sunday Showcase #15

For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun. Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated — and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose. Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself — and her heart.

Why I picked it up: Because I couldn’t stop myself. This book was on the bargain bookshelf. I’d never heard of the author or the title. The first time couple of times I saw it on the bargain shelf at Walden (remember, going out of business), I passed it up. Finally, I decided to read the first few paragraphs to assess the writing style. Worked for me. Right now my youngest daughter is reading and enjoying this book, so I might give it a shot sooner than later. We’ll see.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her. Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie’s enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year. This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening . . . something wondrous and strange. And Kelley’s eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her. Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance. Wondrous Strange is a richly layered tale of love between faerie and mortal, betrayal between kings and queens, and magic . . . between author and reader.

Why I picked it up: I’ve wanted this book for a while. I won book two of the series some time last year and kept saying I’d pick this up eventually. With the Walden sales going on, I figured this was my opportunity. So where we are. 🙂

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

It’s a few years after rebel Tally Youngblood took down the uglies/pretties/specials regime. Without those strict roles and rules, the world is in a complete cultural renaissance. “Tech-heads” flaunt their latest gadgets, “kickers” spread gossip and trends, and “surge monkeys” are hooked on extreme plastic surgery. And it’s all monitored on a bazillion different cameras. The world is like a gigantic game of American Idol. Whoever is getting the most buzz gets the most votes. Popularity rules. As if being fifteen doesn’t suck enough, Aya Fuse’s rank of 451,369 is so low, she’s a total nobody. An extra. But Aya doesn’t care; she just wants to lie low with her drone, Moggle. And maybe kick a good story for herself. Then Aya meets a clique of girls who pull crazy tricks, yet are deeply secretive of it. Aya wants desperately to kick their story, to show everyone how intensely cool the Sly Girls are. But doing so would propel her out of extra-land and into the world of fame, celebrity…and extreme danger. A world she’s not prepared for.

Why I picked it up: Last week I picked the first three books in the series. Well, this wasn’t on the bargain shelf like the others, but still the discount was decent enough to warrant adding it to my collection.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you? At the start of this heart-pounding new installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer.  But an unexpected danger has emerged. Neferet guards her powerful new consort, Kalona, and no one at the House of Night seems to understand the threat he poses.  Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face? On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down.  Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems.  The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem?  On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs.  Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us?

Why I picked it up: For my daughter. 🙂 We have the first books in the series on our shelf. I won most, if not all of those in a couple of giveaways. She enjoyed those, so I figured I’d pick up the next in line for her. I know book one has an awesome start to it, and I almost gave it a whirl. Then I realized the start in book one was just a gimmick, so set it aside. Perhaps I’ll give it another shot one day, now that I got the disappointment out of my system over the gimmick. 🙂 Until then, my daughter gets to enjoy this one.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

When the sixteen-year-old runaway Chap is mistaken for a missing boy named Cassiel, his life changes dramatically. Chap takes on Cassiel’s identity, gaining the family and friends he’s always dreamed of having. But becoming someone else isn’t as easy as he hoped—and Chap isn’t the only one hiding a secret. As he teeters on the brink of discovery and begins to unravel the mystery behind Cassiel’s disappearance, Chap realizes that he’s in much deeper danger than he could have imagined. After all, you can’t just steal a life and expect to get away with it. Award-winning author Jenny Valentine delivers an explosive mystery where dark secrets, betrayal, and loss pave the way for one teen’s chance at redemption.

Why I picked it up: If I’m not mistaken, this is actually a reprint not set to release until February 2012. So I still have a few months to go before I pick this one up for a review. Still sounded interesting though. I’m wondering, what in the world is going on that you can just step into someone’s life and no one notices. Perhaps it really is his life, and he just has amnesia. Hmmm. I guess time will tell. I picked this one up from the NetGalley.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.… Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him. In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai’s memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

Why I picked it up: Gena Showalter — need I say more? I’m quite fond of her Lords of the Underworld series, though I’ve yet to pick up her latest in the series. I was rather disappointed with the happily ever after against all odds… even death, so I decided to give her a little break. But I couldn’t resist trying out her latest series. 🙂 Plus, it was a NetGalley release. I plan to get to this one real quick since I believe it’s already on the market and I picked it up rather late.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

All Joss wants is to be left alone—with Dylan. But as more Talents are imprisoned by the government, everyone’s looking for a leader. Some look to Joss, some to Marco whose new criminal plan threatens Joss’s family and friends. Joss wants to stand up to Marco, but Dylan’s protective instincts are putting him in harm’s way. Can Joss find a way to embrace both the boy and her hero within?

a longer version…

In the world of the Talents, kids with supernatural powers are condemned to government research facilities from which they do not return. For a Talent, the most important thing is keeping the secret…

–Six weeks ago, Dylan Maxwell slugged it out with his best friend. Over a girl.

But Marco had it coming. After all, it looked like he was going to use his supernatural strength to kill Joss Marshall. That should have been the end of it, but Marco’s got bigger plans for crime in Fairview than Dylan ever understood. This time he’s going after the town’s merchants with a crime wave that threatens Joss’s family’s business and all the Talents’ secrets.

–Six weeks ago, Joss Marshall was alone.

Now there’s Dylan. It’s not always comfortable being just friends with the guy she’s had a crush on forever. And the more she learns about the boy with the easy smile, who always seems to know what to say, the more she learns how much they have in common. He’s so much more than she understood, and so much more than she could stand to lose.

That was then, this is now.

And now, everything changes.

Why I picked it up: Last year I fell in love with the first book, Hush Money (see review here). When Susan Bischoff sent out an email asking folks if the wanted to review her latest work — the one I’ve been waiting like forever to read — of course I said yes! I have her prequel hiding somewhere on my Kindle. Perhaps I’ll do a quick read of that and do a double review. This copy was supplied by the author.

Available at: Available at: Barnes & Nobles, Smashwords, and The Book Depository

Nerina has lived all her life as a mermaid, fascinated by humans and land but also repulsed by sex and unable to understand love. Her curiosity gets her captured by a human male intent on awakening her lust and turning her human. But Nerina doesn’t believe the legend is real and fears Kyros will kill her when he learns she can’t transform.

This work is a novella of 21,500 words which will take the average reader 1 to 2 hours to read, depending on personal reading speed. The work is “meant” to be short.

For those unfammiliar with Kitty’s work, this story in many respects is more “tame” than some of her other work, but it is still erotica with a master/slave and kidnap element.

Fun Facts:

Nerina is a Greek name that literally means: “Sea Nymph”.

Kyros is also a Greek name. It means power that is legitimate but compassionate. Despos is generally the term used for power over a slave and Kyros was the term more used for power over a wife or someone for whom you care about their overall well-being.

Meropis is the island upon which the story takes place and it’s a mythical island that I did not create but is part of mythology and sometimes associated in some way with Atlantis. Anostos, the portion of the island that the story takes place on, is as mythology describes, covered in a red, cloudy haze.

Awakening is meant to be a mermaid fairy tale for adults.

Why I picked it up: Every work Kitty Thomas puts out is unique while still holding the sexual domination theme. I can’t help but be intrigued with each piece she puts out… apprehensive usually, but intrigued nonetheless. She definitely an author to follow. Review copy supplied by the author.

Available at: Smashwords, Barnes & Nobles, and The Book Depository

What’s in your mailbox? Pick up any new or upcoming releases?

Novella Review: The Auction by Kitty Thomas

Before we get to The Auction by Kitty Thomas, I wanted to share with you the latest review for I Loved You First. Head over to Benjamin Jones’ place and see what he has to say.

I’ve been quite lucky to read each one of Kitty Thomas‘ work. When she offered me a copy of The Auction, I was quite excited. I took the offer with a smile. A futuristic work with women sold to the highest bidder? Yeah… I’m intrigued. Before the review, how about the blurb from Ms Thomas’ website:

Belle Walker lives in a strict society where women are treated as property, sold to the highest bidder soon after their eighteenth birthday. But the auction isn’t the only danger. Though she’s never seen them, she knows monsters live outside the city. These creatures have allowed the humans a small area to inhabit with the promise to leave them in peace as long as they never cross the boundary. On the day Belle is sold, one of the monsters breaks that promise and enters the city, intent on having her as his own.

**This book is intended for an adult audience and contains master/slave, multiple partners, girl on girl, alien sex, and oral play.**

This title is ebook-only at this time, due to length. It will later be combined with “Awakening” and one or two other short titles for a print collection.

The Auction was more mainstream than the rest of Kitty Thomas’ works. Notice I didn’t say COMPLETELY mainstream. After all, we’re talking about a Kitty Thomas work, and her stories are anything but mainstream. I’m just saying more mainstream than not at all.

Belle was unique amongst the characters Ms. Thomas has presented in the past. Belle has a bit of rebellion in her which couldn’t be squashed. I loved that. Sure she had a master, but in no way was she under his thumb. Quite a change of pace from the typical Kitty Thomas fair. If you’ve shied away from some of her other works because of a less than strong female, you might give this one a try.

The only issue I had with The Auction was based on person preference. I couldn’t get into banging a dragon like humanoid monster with sharp pointy teeth any more than I could picture doing it with a vampire. That’s my hang up. After all, there are plenty of vampire whores… I mean lovers out there. 😉

Ms. Thomas touched briefly on the setting–the colonization of the planet, the difficulties the humans had with the natives, etc. I would have liked to learn more about the world Belle lived in. Like how the colony arrived on the planet, why the humans chose the planet, the origination of the auctions, why the natives confine the humans to the colony, and so on. There’s so much about the world I’d like to explore.  I did read Ms. Thomas might someday consider a sequel. So that’d be awesome.

An interesting side note. I hear Ms. Thomas is working on a fantasy piece which involves mermaids — The Awakening. Something to look forward to if you’re a Kitty Thomas stalker.

Find The Auction by Kitty Thomas at:

Barnes & Nobles

Smashwords

 

 

Novel Review: Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas

Apparently, I lost track of time with this Memorial Weekend holiday and missed doing this review. My apologies to all one and a half of you who follow Ramblings of an Amateur writer religiously.

Not too long ago Kitty Thomas offered me a copy of Tender Mercies in exchange for a review. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive after reading Guilty Pleasures (review here). Not a bad piece for those into no-games true BDSM, but it wasn’t quite the thing for this vanilla gal. On the other hand, I absolutely LOVED Comfort Food (review here). Before we go into whether Tender Mercies hit the spot or not, how about the blurb from Ms. Thomas’ website:

“Grace. That word that finally meant something again. Mercy. Favor. Good will.”

Fed up with play kink, Grace Warner moves to an island that embraces erotic slavery to be with a man she met online. Within hours of her arrival, everything is ripped from her, and she quickly learns play is preferable to the realities of actual enslavement.

Asher Collins has spent the past year mourning and blaming himself for the death of his slave, Darcy. When Grace catches his eye at a showing, obviously abused, he becomes obsessed with buying her and finding a way to atone for his own past sins.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction, and the author does not endorse or condone any behavior done to another human being without their consent. This work contains subject matter which is not appropriate for minors including depictions of abuse, slavery, dubious consent, and anal play.

Prologues seem to be going out of style these days. I mentioned a while back, quite a few folks skip prologues, like my daughter (to my surprise). Tender Mercies started off with a prologue, but unlike my daughter, I’m too afraid I’ll miss something to skip one. So into the prologue I delved into it. When I reached the end, my thoughts were, wow! that was good! It added wonderful insight into Asher’s personality and gave me an immediate connection. For those who skip prologues, I encourage you to give this one a shot. It left me quite satisfied.

So we get to the meat to the story. Riding along with Grace through the first few chapters was quite scary. Her desires to enter the BSDM world superseded rational thought. Yet in a way, I could relate to her desire to give up control but being too strong-willed and defiant do so in the normal world. Still, I couldn’t imagine taking the leap of faith she did. Don’t do it! I screamed at her. Of course she didn’t listen and paid the consequences for her choices. Such horrible consequences. I felt awful about the ordeals Grace faced… almost to the point I wanted to cry for her at times.

Then we have Asher. The introduction of Asher’s point of view is quite different from the prior works of Ms. Thomas. Whereas before, the males were secondary (though still important) characters in the story, this time around, we really get into the male mind. It was nice having an understanding of where he was coming from with the BDSM thing… a side I didn’t really get with the first two stories.

All in all, I truly enjoyed this work. I could totally see an island like the one in the story existing. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if one did. It had the Anne Rice Exit to Eden kind of thing going. I didn’t fall in love with Tender Mercies like I did Comfort Food (keep in mind, only 3 works hit my all time favorites last year, Comfort Food being one of them), but Tender Mercies was well up there on the likeability scale. If you liked Comfort Food–the idea of a tortured woman finding herself–Tender Mercies might be right up your alley.

You can find Tender Mercies by Kitty Thomas at the following locations:

Smashwords

Barnes & Nobles

The Book Depository