Amazing Fantasy Quick Reads - Melting Pot
Life seems to be busier and more stressful than ever, lately. Not everyone has the time, energy, or desire to dive into a hundred thousand word (or more) fantasy novel. Thankfully, both the indie and traditional publishing industry recognizes the fact that sometimes all you need is a book that is short and sweet.
Yes, dear reader, we are in the midst of a resurgence of short(er) fiction. Publishers, like TOR, are scooping up new voices and showcasing their short fiction to give you a flavor of what you may see in their longer works. Indie authors, like Shéa MacLeod, are churning out GREAT fiction that glides across the page and tops out at around fifty thousand words. (I’ll feature some of her paranormal and cozy mysteries in future columns.)
So, if you need a quick fantasy fix, check out either of the books featured this month. They won’t disappoint, I promise.
It was the cover that initially grabbed me…I just can’t pass up a book that features a dapper brown skinned man with a sword protecting a young boy, a woman with two guns blazing, and HUGE mechanical men in the background. Then I read the cover copy and was sold.
Desmond Coke is a man on a mission to protect his ward, Lij Tafari, from villains with nefarious intentions. As they make their way across an alternative America, they must struggle to survive almost insurmountable odds. Lij is quiet, but intense. His small frame is deceiving…the boy has powers that could make him a powerful ally or a dangerous weapon.
Hot dang, was this book a fun and fast read!
Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus
Having stumbled onto a plot within his homeland of Jamaica, former espionage agent, Desmond Coke, finds himself caught between warring religious and political factions, all vying for control of a mysterious boy named Lij Tafari.
Wanting the boy to have a chance to live a free life, Desmond assumes responsibility for him and they flee. But a dogged enemy agent remains ever on their heels, desperate to obtain the secrets held within Lij for her employer alone.
Assassins, intrigue, and steammen stand between Desmond and Lij as they search for a place to call home in a North America that could have been.
Buffalo Soldier is a steampunk adventure from Maurice Broaddus.
I purchased The Drowning Eyes for my Kindle with the Audible Whisper Sync option. I love strong female leads and when one of those leads is a world weary ship’s captain, I love it even more. Seriously folks, this book is a little more than two hours long on Audible. But let me tell you, it is two hours of adventure that you’ll want to hear or read multiple times.
The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the archipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders' sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers' magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people.
Tazir has seen more than her share of storms and pirates in her many years as captain, and she's not much interested in getting involved in the affairs of Windspeakers and Dragon Ships. Shina's caught her eye, but that might not be enough to convince the grizzled sailor to risk her ship, her crew, and her neck.
"The Drowning Eyes is a magic- and wind-filled adventure, peopled with excellent and strong characters. The story made me want to sail the coastline on a boat of my own and see if I could call up a storm. In Emily Foster's debut novella, apprentice Windspeaker Shina must return her people's power to them before the Dragon Ships destroy everything . . . unless Shina destroys it by accident first. So vividly rendered, you'll be tempted to wash the salt-spray from your clothing after reading The Drowning Eyes." - Fran Wilde, author of Updraft
My To Be Read Pile
My bestie knows me so well. She HIGHLY recommended this book to me and I immediately bought it via my phone while we were brunching. Plus if one of my favorite authors, Daniel Jose Older, read it and gave Ms. Cordova a shout out quote…I have to read it.
Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas) by Zoraida Cordova
The only way to get her family back is to travel to a land in between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland...
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation...and she hates magic.
At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she's not sure she can trust, but who may be Alex's only chance at saving her family.
Praise for Labyrinth Lost:
"Enchanting and complex. Every page is filled with magic."-Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of Dorothy Must Die
"... enchants from start to finish. Labyrinth Lost is pure magic." -Melissa Grey, author of The Girl at Midnight
"Magical and empowering, Labyrinth Lost is an incredible heroine's journey filled with mythos come to life; but at its heart, honors the importance of love and family." -Cindy Pon, author of Serpentine and Silver Phoenix
"A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante's Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary."-Daniel Jose Older, author of Shadowshaper
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.