‘Bittersweet’ by Aliya DalRae is the story of Malcolm, the black cat who features in Sweet Vengeance and Sweet Discovery, the first two novels in the Jessica Sweet trilogy.
The Jessica Sweet paranormal/mystery/romance novels portray Malcolm as a dark, mysterious creature who keeps his secrets closely concealed. ‘Bittersweet’ shows much more of who he is – sensitive and loving, yet carrying a burden that nobody else can understand.
This is a powerful and moving story, even for readers who are not familiar with DalRae’s Jessica Sweet novels. It works equally well as a standalone story, a companion backstory to the novels, or a very effective appetizer as an introduction to the novels.
DalRae’s writing is highly expressive and yet still so comfortable that the reader is drawn right into the world of Fallen Cross.
This book can be easily read in an hour, so ‘Bittersweet’ would be a perfect lazy afternoon or end of day read.
I’ve given this ADR novella five shiny stars.
‘Bittersweet’ is available on Amazon as an ebook or in paperback.
Alternatively, you can get it free via Instafreebie by signing up to Aliya DalRae’s mailing list.
‘The Lion and The Tiger’ is a short story companion to Lyra Shanti’s ‘Shiva XIV’ epic sci-fi series. It fills in a little of the backstory of Hynfir, whom we meet in the novels as the general of the Tah army. For those who have not read the Shiva XIV series, this short story works perfectly well as a standalone.
Written with Shanti’s trademark eloquence, ‘The Lion and The Tiger’ is the story of the meeting and relationship of the Lirhan warrior, Hynfir, and Leif, the man who should have been off limits.
‘The Lion and The Tiger’ is not very long, but it has profound relevance for anyone whose love or life challenges judgemental or restrictive social boundaries.
If you haven’t read the Shiva XIV stories, ‘The Lion and The Tiger’ will whet your appetite for the novels which are, in my opinion, the next great space epic just waiting to be discovered.
‘The Lion and The Tiger’ is available at Amazon for just $1.
‘Absence of Colour’ is an engaging and intriguing tale of escaping the past and searching for identity and justice.
The band of characters in this book are quite well developed, and the reader is drawn into a strong feeling of empathy with Conny, Frankie and Twig in particular. The villain is well-drawn and distinctly odious: there are times when his actions do make the reader uncomfortable and quite angry. This sets the action of the story in motion: each of the main characters and a number of the minor characters must work together to achieve justice and to reclaim that which has been taken from them.
The book brings some resolution to the conflicts faced by Twig and Conny, along with a sense of relief in the immediate circumstances, but the reader is also very aware that there are still questions and problems that remain unsolved. In this way, the reader is strongly motivated to read the second book in the series – ‘The Colour of Evil’. The title itself is both enticing and ominous, leaving the reader intrigued and eager to know more.
I’ve given this book a good solid 4 stars.
You can find Absence of Colour Book 1, and the rest of the series, on Susan Wee’s Amazon page.
Jesse Frankel is a prolific writer of YA novels who was born in Canada and now lives in Japan, where he writes YA novels in addition to teaching English and being a family man.
As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he also enjoys weight training, watching movies and listening to music.
His novels feature highly original and exciting story lines that explore themes and issues relevant to teens and young adults today while upholding important values such as respect, loyalty and friendship. The characters are relatable and realistic, so that readers can identify with them and the situations in which they find themselves.
In a recent author interview, Jesse explained his reasons for choosing to write YA fiction: