Tag Archive: Self Published


From Amazon’s Website

The Legend begins…

For centuries, stories of the Fae have been passed down from generation to generation throughout the Scottish Highlands. Over time, the truth of their existence was reduced to nothing more than childhood fairytales. Until now! On the eve of war between Good and Evil, Ella of Andor, the Fae Princess of Darkness embarks on a journey that would ensure her kingdom’s victory as prophesied. But in a twist of fate, Ella is led to the mortal world where she soon discovers a mystery about her past that could destroy everything she has ever known.

After returning home from battle against a neighboring clan, Laird Galen Graham stumbles upon an injured woman in desperate need of care and protection. Wanting to return her to her family becomes a difficult task when he discovers the lass cannot speak. While trying to solve the mystery behind who she is, Galen finds himself falling in love with a lass he knows nothing about.

Forced to return to the Fae world, can Ella stop the war threatening to destroy her kingdom, or will she give up her destiny to return to the man she has fallen for in the mortal world? After discovering the truth about the mysterious lass, will Galen be able to let her go?

Follow Ella and Galen’s fantastic journey filled with magic, danger, love, and mystery.

My Review:

Oh, where to start. In general the writing was good, as well as the character development. But this story had many issues. So many in fact that I almost quit reading the story multiple times. I did finish the book, but it was painful.

There are two sides to this story. There is the Fae realm and 15th Century Scotland. The Fae Realm was nicely created and well rounded. I could easily see the land and the creatures that were described. The history of the land was interesting and the author does a good job in making the reader want to stay in this realm and discover what happens to the people of it.

Then we get to the 15th Century Scotland. The number of items incorrect drove me nuts. I will admit that Scottish History is a big interest of mine and has been for a very long time. I usually don’t mind dialect in stories, but I felt that it was over used. There was at least one time where the author used the words dinna and no in the same sentence, causing the sentence to have a double negative.

The author also tended to use words that are not in common use and for one, the context wasn’t correct. At one point Galen tells his second to impose a cheminage for those who crossed his border. Cheminage is a fee traditionally applied to people taking items to market through a forest that is owned by a Lord. Very few clans would be able to man their entire border to collect this fee. The amount of money they would make compared to the man power needed makes it ridiculous. The economy of the Highlands in the 15th Century was still primarily barter based and due to poor roads, trade with others was not widely done. Trade and coins were common in strong economic centers like Perth, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, etc. The average person wouldn’t be carrying coin, therefore making the cheminage unrealistic.

Much to my surprise, we discover that the clan blacksmith and the clan healer lived ten miles from the clan seat. Why would you put these two very important people so far from the center of the clan? Typically both of these people would either live within the castle walls or just outside the walls. The average person walks at the speed of three miles per hour, and a walking horse averages four to five miles per hour, a distance of ten miles would not be covered at a trot or faster pace. At these speed averages, it would take people two and half to three and half hours to cover ten miles. No intelligent Laird would have these people so far from the largest grouping of clan members. Later in the story we discover that the armory is nine miles from the castle. Why isn’t within the castle walls?

At one point, Galen is planning on going to Stonehaven to visit the market because the trade ships would have come in that day or the day before. The author lets the readers know that Stonehaven is two hours from the castle. There are a few issues with this. First, the Laird would not have left to do the marketing. He would have a man who would do that and only a few times a year. By stating that Stonehaven is only two hours away, the author has stated that Stonehaven is closer than the clan blacksmith or healer. In the 15th Century, Stonehaven was a fishing village. It was never a trading port. The closest trading port was actually Aberdeen, which is north of Stonehaven. Even now, Stonehaven is still a fishing village but also relies on tourism for income. Then there is the name issue. Stonehaven did not get its name until the start of the 17th century. Stonehaven and much of the land around it was Clan Keith land. Another reason this whole scenario wouldn’t work is that trade ships wouldn’t attempt the North Sea in the winter. The sea is too treacherous.

When the author finally gave us a general idea where in Scotland the story was taking place, I discovered that the story is taking place over a hundred miles from where the author really wanted. Stonehaven is on the eastern coast of Scotland. During the story we learn that Galen’s clan Graham was having a feud with Clan MacGregor, and Galen was trying to forge an alliance with Clan Campbell and their Laird the Duke of Argyll. These clans never had land along the eastern coast of Scotland. For the most part, their lands were northwest of Glasgow, approximately a hundred miles from Stonehaven.

Imagine my surprise when I read the author biography at the end of the story and discovered that she has written three other Scottish Historicals.

I found that the relationship between Galen and Ella very platonic. Yes, Galen lusted after Ella but I never really felt that these characters fell for each other. The sex scene was not necessary to this story. It didn’t move forward the story or their relationship. It felt like the author went, “Wait, this is romance. It must have sex.” This story would have been just fine without the sex, especially since I feel that the characters didn’t have mutual desire for each other.

The end of the story was very abrupt. There were things not resolved in the Fae realm. How can Ella take the Queen’s offer and leave the Fae realm without completing a task she had set for herself? The author could have extended the story by having Ella and Galen working together. Even if they failed at the task, it would give a level of closure. Instead, Ella didn’t pursue the task and left it for others who looked to her for leadership. I realize that the author wanted to keep the task unfulfilled so she can have a series, but there should have been an attempt.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I give Legend of the Fae a 2 Horseshoe rating.

Legend of the Fae is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.

Publication Details:

Author April Holthouse
Title Legend of the Fae
Format Ebook
Length 236
Publication Date March 2015
Publisher Self Published Through Amazon
ISBN 978-1-5077-6137-3

My Description:

Calgary Stampede Administrative Assistant, Stacey Hamilton has seen many different kinds of celebrities come through the gates of the Stampede. But this year is special. The Prince of England and his new wife are visiting. But their visit isn’t what has her tied in knots. The man she has been dating online for over two years is also coming to the Stampede. To meet her. What if he isn’t everything she has built him up to be?

Daniel Ryan was visiting the Stampede for two reasons. To convince his best friend and mentor, Marcus not to retire and to meet Stacey. He wanted to know if the feelings she stirred through email would be present when they were face to face. He also wanted to know if she loved him like loved her.

Can Daniel convince Stacey they are meant for each other, or will he leave the Stampede without his saucy filly?

My Review:

I was given a copy of this novella by the author. It was a very enjoyable story, but had a few minor issues that is not uncommon with self published stories. Those minor issues did not affect my overall enjoyment of the story and therefore does not affect the rating it will receive.

Anya has given her readers a different view of the Calgary Stampede. Most books about the Stampede is from the point of view of a rodeo competitor or a visitor to the rodeo. Not from the point of view of someone who works the administrative offices to put the Stampede together. I enjoyed that difference with this story. However I find it fascinating that someone would work one of the biggest cowboy events in North America and not like cowboys. That little tidbit about Stacey made me shake my head.

The characters of Stampede Fever are very enjoyable and I hope we get to see more of them in later novellas.

As is common with self published stories, there were some editing issues with the edition I received. At the author’s request, I did take the time to point those out to her. The ending of the story was very abrupt. Almost as if the author saw her word count and stopped because she was at the limit for a novella. On the novella this story comes in on the low end of the word count. I’ve seen novellas twice the length of this one. I would love to see her expand this story beyond where it ended. I want to see how Stacey’s friends react to Daniel, especially her roommate.

Like I said before, given those few issues, my enjoyment of the story wasn’t affected, even though I was left wanting more. I am confident in my rating of this story.

I give Stampede Fever a 4 Horseshoe rating.

Stampede Fever is available from Amazon in Kindle edition.

Publication Details:

Author Anya Winter
Title Stampede Fever
Format E – book
Length Novella
Publication Date July 2011
Publisher Self Published Through Amazon
ASIN B005BT51IG