First up: The Eyes That Moved (short story) by Rachelle M. N. Shaw
Overview from www.amazon.com: Kendra is a young girl who has a knack for spotting unusual trinkets and abandoned houses that hold treasures of their own. When she meets Adam, a fellow sleuth and collector, they decide to embark on their biggest adventure yet: the Whitson house. The house is a marvel, and its secrets are even juicier than Kendra had imagined. The third and final floor of the house holds something Kendra has been waiting a lifetime for. But she may have signed on for more than she bargained. There’s a darkness in the house that wasn’t there before, a pair of eyes in every corner, watching, waiting for her time to come. And Adam isn’t at all who he claimed to be.
This story was given to me to review by a fellow writer in any way I see fit so I’ll begin with this one. Our main character, a girl named Kendra, likes old houses and has a date with another young man to explore one close to her neighborhood.
At first she finds no one there. She begins looking around and finds an old family tree that fascinates her for a while but her friend Adam wants her to move on.
That’s when she finds the creepy dolls and the truth about why she has been brought there. But is it too late?
Review of Caledonii: Birth of a Celtic Nation by Ian Hall
Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: The year is 69 AD, and the Romans have been lords of the southern part of Britain for over twenty years, but their roads stretch forever northwards. Knowing their armies will one day march on these roads, the Brigante King Venutius decides to send two of his young sons further north to safety.
It is a dangerous journey into hostile lands
He cannot fail.
The next story for review was slightly longer but I think it was just designed as a teaser to get the reader into the series. And, as I suspected, at the end of the story there was a blurb about reading more books in this series.
But was it good enough for me to even consider that? The answer is a resounding yes. I hope the author is reading though because I am not sure if I can actually afford to buy future novels so if he would consider sending me a review copy I’d greatly appreciate it.
Our main character is a Druid named Sewell. The time is 69 AD in the South East of what would one day become Scotland.
His new assignment is to help a local king get his wife and children out of the area before the nasty Romans come through destroying everything in their path. And to top it off they also have to look out for their fellow monarch Cartimanda who has joined the side of the terrible Romans. She will no doubt be looking to curry favor with them.
The story combines some elements of Fantasy and the supernatural along with Historical Fiction. The writing is well-done and the characters are interesting.
Though I suppose it might not have interested me so much if it were not for my love of history and the fact that I remembered a lot of these characters (Cartimanda) from The British History Podcast.
There are some elements of sexuality but there was nothing graphic as I recall. Of course there is also some violence. Still, I found it engaging and well-done.