An Alisa Review: Where Song Replaces Silence by Layla Dorine

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Raze halts his midnight joy ride to give chase to twinkling lights that appear in the road before him and then lead him deep into a forest, where he falls into another world. There, magic is real, wishes are granted, and no one is considered odd or out of place.

Raze has never fit in anywhere in his own world and uses his angry attitude to keep others at bay and mask his anxieties and fears in this new place. A dangerous combination in Loas, where rudeness is frowned upon and foul language can land him in a dungeon.

Rurin, an inhabitant of Loas, tries to teach Raze about their world, its magic and its residents, but he faces Raze’s stubborn resistance at every turn. Bitter about his past, pessimistic about his future, Raze sees what could be, but he struggles to accept it. In the meantime, his encounters with the Fae range from hostile sarcasm to potential danger. While he attempts to keep the promises he’s made to Rurin and follow the rules laid out for him, Raze grows more and more curious about the place where he’s landed. It’s too bad he keeps making poor choices.

As the connection between them grows, Rurin works to keep Raze from being banished, but Raze may be cast out of the Loas before he has the opportunity to discover the true reason he was led there in the first place.

This was not a story for me.  While it was well written the world that Raze ended up in and his and the others actions just caused me to get upset during most of the story.  I also couldn’t help but feel the teeny bit of romance was forced and did absolutely nothing for what was happening.

I will admit from the beginning Raze is a jerk but at the same time this wonderful, accepting and peaceful group is sure quick to judge and look down on him even when he is trying.  Mostly we see Raze getting let around by Rurin to learn about the world he has found himself in while at the same time Rurin expecting him to just know how it works down there.  I felt that Raze’s sudden acceptance and change of heart when he found his magic was just too little too late for all around.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is a beautiful picture but doesn’t do anything for the story.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 33,300 words

Published: April 22, 2019 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-950412-49-5

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Ta Weezo’s Blues by Layla Dorine

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Sabre never had any intentions of becoming the teacher’s pet. In fact, most of his school years have been spent trying to avoid attention. The scar that mars his cheek has made him wary of strangers, their questions and prying eyes leave him feeling exposed in ways he’s uncomfortable with. Accustomed to blending in, he lurks around the shadows in the back of classrooms, turning in exemplary work but rarely taking part in discussions.OK

Professor Locklear’s Native lit class is different though. Sabre’s interest in the subject matter, coupled with a dedicated scholar’s need to turn in the best work possible, leads him to seek out a more advanced reading list, much to the delight of Professor Locklear. When he comes across Sabre reading material beyond even the advanced list, Professor Locklear invites on a fieldtrip to a nearby village. Along the way he learns more than just the knowledge contained in the books. He learns about trust and discovers that there are others out there just like him— shapeshifters.

What he believed was an individual anomaly turns out to be something beyond legend and lore, a whole different culture he’d never known existed. The only way he can move forward is to let his shields down long enough to trust the man whose conversations he’s come to enjoy, but to do that, he’ll have to stop distancing himself from everyone.

This was so adorable.  Drax is intrigued by his new student’s dedication and when he comes to his office for more additional reading it makes him even more interesting.  The field trip gives them the opportunity to see each other in a different environment.

I could feel Sabre’s insecurity and fear of rejection and it was wonderful to see Drax give him his unconditional love and support along with accepting his differences.  I really loved their connection to each other and how it made both of their lives together.  The best part was Sabre finding acceptance with more people and it looks like he will now have some friends instead of keeping everyone at arm’s length.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is great and I love the visual of the characters.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 24,800 words

Published: December 24, 2018 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-949909-73-9

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review: Santa is a Vampire by Damian Serbu

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Simon the Elf wants to tell you the true story behind Jolly Ole St. Nick. Yeah, he’s a vampire. But that alleged gift giver and lover of children hides more than that fact from you. And what about Mrs. Claus and Rudolph? Venture into a world of enslaved elves, enchanted animals, and death wrought by Santa himself. With his sharp wit, Simon will lead you into the darkest realms of Christmas. Warning: Simon cusses a lot. But you would, too, if Santa held you captive.

Interesting concept for a story.  I liked the way this was written and how we see things from Simon’s point of view and we get to see some of his interesting thoughts.  I never would have thought of going this far off the rails for Santa, Mrs. Claus and Rudolph but I think they connect together.

So, everything is told from Simon’s point of view which does give a once sided view to all the stories but I enjoyed how he told it.  The history of Santa is well told and thought out that I didn’t feel that there was much missing after hearing everyone’s stories and how Santa pretty much tricked Simon into writing a new story for him.  What I didn’t enjoy were the excessive jokes and references to pee and farts, it just seemed childish.  This story doesn’t have any romance or anything of the sort however Simon is gay which would be the connection to LGBT.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is nice and low key but works well for this story.

Sales Links: Nine Star Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 76,800 words

Published: November 26, 2018 by Nine Star Press

ISBN: 978-1-949909-42-5

Edition Language: English

Series: Simon the Elf