“Writing a spoiler-free review for a book based on an amazing and unexpected premise is darn near impossible. I’ve started a review of Stacy Bennett’s Son of Anubis a dozen times and backed-spaced over it every time. Seven days in, I have made peace with the fact that it won’t be possible to avoid spoilers any more that it will be possible to bridle my enthusiasm for this novella.
I was immediately sucked into the story by the action and characters – a bomb dog and his handler going through a routine search. As a dog owner, I loved how Bennett gave Jake the dog his own POV and marveled at how deftly she carried it off. Being inside Jake’s mind is one of the great delights of this book. The bond between Jake and his handler, Becca, is a thing of joy, one that is tangible throughout the story.
Becca is devoted to two things: her job and her dog. The few glimpses we get of her back story show us she is loyal and family oriented. Her friendship with co-worker Pete and his dog further demonstrate her loyalty as a person and a professional. Those characteristics, loyalty and devotion to family, come into conflict in her romantic relationship, demonstrating that Becca’s life isn’t all smooth sailing.
The mystery at the center of the story had a handful of compelling elements that kept me turning the pages. Shape-shifters. Ancient Egyptian artifacts. A vengeful god. And a vicious antiquities smuggler. The action begins on the first page and continues through the last page. The ending left me satisfied but wanting more and Bennett most certainly left me hope for exactly that – just enough loose threads to pull me into another adventure should she choose to do so.
In short, I loved this novella and highly recommend it to mystery lovers, dog lovers, and readers interested in Egyptian history and antiquities. Most of all, I loved the singular way Bennett allowed us into Jake’s head and heart. He’s a character that will stay with you long after you reach The End.”
Thanks to the lovely YA author Shelley Wilson for reviewing of my debut novella “Son of Anubis”. I greatly appreciate you taking the time, not only to read my work, but to offer your opinion so eloquently.
“Ancient Egyptian artefacts and werewolves – what more could you ask for in a novel?
The stunning cover art hooked me in, and the strapline secured the deal.
‘When a smuggled relic unleashes an ancient God…There’s nowhere to hide.’
Told from two perspectives, Son of Anubis shares the story of Jake, a bomb dog at Newark International Airport, and his human partner, Becca. I loved the way Bennett gets inside the head of her canine character and shows us a unique visual from Jake’s eyes. The mannerisms are captured so perfectly that you can clearly visualise the scenes unfolding through the eyes of this dog. There is a bond between Jake and Becca that many dog owners will be able to relate to.
The story begins in the thick of the action when Becca and Jake make an unusual discovery during a routine search. We are introduced to Cupesco, a
Today is a special day.
It’s release day for a book.
MY book. In fact, my FIRST book.
And that means today is the first day I consider myself an “author.”
No, don’t argue that I was as much an author yesterday as today because, whether or not that statement is true (for me or for anyone), it’s not how I choose to tell my tale. You see, I believe in the power of rituals, the incredible freeing magic of gateway experiences.
Today, I step through a door. And the view from here is … exhilarating. Right here and right now. Before I’ve sold a single copy. Continue reading “Book release: Launching Son of Anubis”
Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was such a delightful gem, a relief in fact. I have to admit that I am not a planner when it comes to writing. I try to behave. I read the recommended books on “how” to write, how to plan, how to organize plot points and turning points and denouements and where things should fall to make it all work out. But they don’t really thrill me. As I’m reading them, part of me is snarkily resistant. My inner muse rebels at the thought of ‘rules’. Still, I want to further my craft and so I try to tame the inner unease and take notes and follow the steps – until now.
This book showed me that I don’t need permission to write however it is I write. Everyone does it differently and we can all succeed. This book gives good advice for maintaining quality even if you don’t plot and plan every move. Down-to-earth, logical, realistic and forgiving, this book made me smile. But what’s more, it made me want to write something every time I read a chapter. So thank you, Mr. James, from me and my rebellious muse!
There were a few things I promised myself I’d do by the end of 2015, and although this isn’t the project I thought I’d finish, I am publishing my first story. Here is the delightful cover, courtesy of Blue Harvest Creative, for my novella, Son of Anubis. You can preorder the e-book here today and it will be available in both digital and paper formats on January 15.
This was written for today’s Thursday Threads. Do you have around 100 words you want to share today? Go check it out.
“Extermination would be far simpler,” the Arkhani prince murmured, his opinion lost under the swish of the door that closed behind the ship’s commander.
“What do you mean?” I blurted, forgetting my place even though the dangling chains on my wrists should have reminded me. In Arkhana, even the storytellers were slaves.
The prince’s black eyes bored into mine for a moment before I dropped my gaze. He took a step closer and I trembled. Had my insolence finally pushed him too far?
“Training Srinja wildlings is costly.” Luckily, his voice held tolerant amusement. “They are hopelessly backward.”
“There is always hope, my lord,” I murmured unable to quell my compassion for victims of Arkhani aggression.
Though he’d never been cruel, I cringed as long dark fingers brushed my chin. Timidly, I met his curious stare. “True bards never look reality in the eye, do they?” Something primal swam in his angular smile making my heart skip. “But you have won, my songbird. I shall let them.”
“Or starve. As they choose.” He glanced down at my fettered wrists, then said. “You know this has nothing to do with you.”
Surprise softened his voice. “How could it? You do not work and…” His thumb caressed my cheek. “I would never let you starve.” The yearning that smoldered in his eyes was unmistakable and far more terrifying than any whip.
For a slave to love their master was expected, but a master’s love could be deadly.
Word count: 248 Illustration via iStockphoto.
She remembered the way he introduced himself, self-deprecating and almost proper: “I’m Charles Anderson, the scientist; and you are lovely.”
Posterity Inc. had told her he was an unusual case. They didn’t tell her he was tall, clean-cut and subtly magnetic. His nearness unbalanced her and she had almost bungled the interview by tripping over her chair trying to maintain a professional distance.
“I’m terminal, not contagious.” He had laughed, white teeth flashing between boyish dimples.
The interview lasted over an hour, discussing genotype and probability. He was so blessedly – normal. When it was time to make her decision, he had strolled behind her chair, suave as James Bond.
“I may be dying, but I assure you I can still do this.” His hand traced the line of her biceps in one teasing stroke, brushing her breast in passing. A palpable thrill flushed her cheeks. She noted the smoky intensity of his intelligent grey eyes. “I would like something more than a Chuck-was-here sign. Do we have a deal, Ms. Bruckner?”
She hadn’t spoken, only nodded.
Sweeping her hair from her neck, he had placed delicate kisses from shoulder to ear, sending erotic heat to her very core. One night of primal lust and erotic rhythms, just one, and her job was done.
That was eight months ago.
Gliding her hand lovingly over her rounded abdomen and the tiny elbow within, she had to agree it was a much better monument than a cold stone in a manicured cemetery.
Just a bit late today. Been one of those weeks. This was written in 2012 for A Tale From Behind The Curtains blog hop. Enjoy!
“Gypsy gold does not clink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.”
The ceremony was bohemian and exotic and a far different future than I’d pictured for myself before Madame Romani and Midnight’s performance under the big top. The whole troupe gathered around the bonfire and Jafri and I exchanged vows. Under the furtive scrutiny of clowns, we sipped bittersweet wine and danced.
I had been enthralled by Madame’s sequined costume and magnificent Friesian, all black-feathered hooves and solid flanks, and I told her I’d give anything to be her.
“Said the same thing myself once,” she reminisced, older under the greasepaint than I’d have guessed. “But what of your swarthy young man?” She nodded to where Jafri waited for me.
“I love him, but my family doesn’t. They left New York after 911 to get away from ….”
“…Arabs.” Her gypsy eyes took Jafri’s measure. “My father did not approve my choice either.”
Mischievous, she’d whispered. “We eloped.”
Eloped. Already drunk with dancing, my laughter bubbled over like champagne. I lost myself in Jafri’s kisses and the pleasures of our first night.
I awoke at dawn to terrified neighs, banging metal, and Jafri gone. Shoving legs into jeans, I found Madame standing in the yard by an old horse trailer, a new halter in her hand.
“Quickly Jess, you must calm him before he’s injured.” Frantic whinnies accompanied the scuffle of panicked hooves. She pushed the halter into my hands. Continue reading “Throwback Flash: Gypsy Gold”