You may think this post is late for the Advent Tour, but I’ve looked it up and it’s still Saturday in some parts of the world, so phew! I just scraped through.
In the tradition of Advent calendars, I thought I’d offer up some surprise goodies for everyone. Since this is a book blog, I’ve come up with a list of free stories for you to sample.
(If you know me at all, you’ll realise that the reason this post is late is because I was compelled to read each story first to, uh, make sure that, erm, they’re of a sufficiently high quality. My motives were entirely selfless. Ahem.)
Anyway, you guys are in for a treat because these freebies are fantabulous. I’ve included a link to each author’s website so you can check out more of their work if you’re interested.
I have to start by recommending Ember by Bettie Sharpe. It’s a retelling of Cinderella, but edgy and twisted and dark and slightly evil (and I mean that in a good way). If you still think of romance books as bodice rippers, or you’re sick of pasty virgin heroines, this is the romance book for you. Ember first appeared at The Serial, a regular blog event run by author Dionne Galace. The Serial showcases serial novels from various authors. The current story, The Italian Gourmet-Baby-Food Baron’s Ironically Pregnant Virgin Mistress, is as hilarious as the title suggests.
Lady Kate’s Scoundrel by Anna Campbell is a short romance story set in 1825. This is traditional romance, with a feisty heroine and a rakish alpha hero. Campbell is an Aussie author who set romance blogs abuzz with her first novel, Claiming the Courtesan.
If contemporary stories are more your thing, 71 Downtown by Jenna Bayley-Burke is a sweet short story set in a bus. If you’ve ever had crushy thoughts on someone while enduring public transportation, you should give this one a try.
Dunvegas 2007 is an anthology of erotic paranormal short stories set in Dunvegas, a Las Vegas casino for paranormal folk. My favourites are Touch Not The Ungloved Cat by Carolan Ivey and I Dream of Desi by Jenna Leigh–I found these two a little more romantic than some of the others. Some of the stories in this anthology are very graphic, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Speaking of erotic, 101 Degrees Fahrenheit by Eva Gale is an erotic romance about a married couple trying to put the spark back into their marriage. Roaring fire is more like it. I don’t normally go for this kind of romantic setup in conventional contemporary novels, but for some reason I love it in my erotica.
Going Away is more of a prelude than an actual romance written by Ann Somerville. The characters in this short story reminded me a little of Jules and Robin from Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series.
And if that’s not enough for you, you can scour through the list of Thrifty Thursday offerings at Long and Short Reviews. Every Thursday, the review site publishes a free short story by different authors.
If science fiction is more your thing, you might like to try John Scalzi’s Agent to the Stars (Scalzi also has a list of freely available work you can sample) or try one (or all) of Cory Doctorow’s free novels.
I hope you guys enjoy these free stories to tide you over until Christmas. Here’s to finding new books under the tree!
The Blog Advent Tour is hosted by Marg from Reading Adventures and Kailana from The Written World. You can find the full list of participants here. Below is a list of the remaining blogs on the calendar.