Vella Spotlight

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I’ve recently fallen into the Vella void. I’ve discovered some wonderful stories. (And of course, the not so great.) I’m also a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell, even if we don’t all choose the same mediums. One of the cool things about vella is that any writer, from aspiring to professional can post.

This leads us to some quality problems, of course. But many times, a good story can be hidden in one that hasn’t been fully polished yet.

Last week I asked vella authors to suggest some of their stories to share with you.

In no particular order:

Single and orphaned at thirty, Evie Broussard is afraid the holidays will never be the same. And they won’t–but that doesn’t mean she can’t start new traditions. A last-minute trip to see Christmas markets in Europe might be just what she needs. Only Evie finds things aren’t quite what she expected. Then again, nothing could have prepared her for Keller Kendrix and his crew.

***

Cassie Jones, the head of Jones’ Post-Mortem Tracking Agency, has been cursed with a capital “C.” Thanks to an unfortunate incident with an angry wizard, any guy she falls for is guaranteed to betray her. So when David MacDuff – the most mouthwatering man she’s ever had the misfortune to meet – hires her to track his recently deceased brother, she knows she’s got to keep things strictly professional. Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. Maybe she should have stuck to hunting vampires after all.

***

wo sisters each lost the love of her life in WWI. Now in the next life, they have a mission to fulfill before they can finally reunite with the men they love. They must help others find their own soulmate. The beautiful inn where they grew up has been converted to an apartment building and is filled with people who need assistance finding their forever person – whether they know it or not! Inventive and determined, these two ghostly seniors will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.

Review: Mystical Missy and Her Life of of Magical Events

Synopsis:

Missy never asked to have magical powers, but when she survived a fire as a baby, with no burns or marks, this was only the start of her magical abilities. Follow the journey of mystical Missy as she discovers a new power each year of her magical life.

Genre: Fantasy/Humor

My Review:

This delightful story is still early on. (I know, a bit early to leave reviews, but this is a vella story.) This book is beautiful. I’ve felt sadness, disappointment, and then tears of joy for Missy already. I highly recommend giving this book a go.

Review: Fantastical Flash Fiction (vella)

Synopsis:

This is a collection of flash fiction based on elements from mythology and fantasy. Every piece will be under a thousand words, and occasionally I might post a couple of microfictions in the same episode.

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal

My Review:

Fun short stories that explore myths and legends. I found them well-written and interesting. (I think my favorite was the one about the Kelpie so far.)
You do not need to read these in order, either.

Have you check this vella book out yet? What was your favorite story?

Review: Hey, Nicky!

Synopsis:

Remi Lucas isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and she wants Nicolas Savage; the brilliant, hot, serious, emotionally unavailable nerd at school. Remi is gorgeous, smart, the head cheerleader, and the most popular girl in school; so, why is he playing hard to get? Does he think he’s going to ignore her? Not if she can help it. See if she’ll get her guy in this cute romantic comedy. Fans of the drama “It Started With a Kiss” will love this story.

Genre: Romance/Teen and Young Adult

My Review:

I know this story isn’t finished. It is a vella story, after all, but it is fun. Taking place in high school, two childhood friends have grown apart That’s often part of life, right? Except Remi loves Nicholas, and Nicholas is crushing on Remi. What’s the problem you wonder? Well, Nicholas is relying on playing hard to get because a book told him so.
Full of embarrassing confession moments, longing thoughts and glances, this book will keep you going. So stock up on those tokens, you’re going to need them.

Review: The Dragon Maze

Synopsis:

Dragons and their riders are sent to guard the enchanted maze, where monsters are contained. The dragons and their riders can never leave, marking them as sacrifices to protect the maze so that the monsters can never escape. Can Touernaea and Touervina use their bond to save themselves and the other riders, or with the monsters within prove to be too much?

Genre: Teen/YA Fantasy


My Review:

Here’s another fun vella story. This one kept my attention and I look forward to seeing where it goes next. They are about to enter the maze.

Are you reading this one? Feel free to comment and share what you think.

Review: The Sea Rose (a Vella story)

Synopsis:

Lord Peter West could not marry Lady Bannister. Her eyes bore into him like daggers; her voice filled him with dread. Knowing this, his resolve thinned as the day neared to announce their union. He could not have imagined as he fled the party that he would find himself stranded in the district of the Half-Merpeople. No one had told him that those with ocean-blood lived such wretched lives. Most of all, he could not have dreamed that the once-vanished Lady Rose Finch walked those streets.


My Review:

I have another Vella story to share. This one is great. It has two things I love, it’s a Regency romance and it has magic. And not just any magic, it’s merpeople.

From the opening, I was hooked. We start off with Peter at a ball meant to announce his engagement to a proper young lady by the name of Meredith. It doesn’t go as planned and Peter runs away. Leaving Meredith to an unfortunate fate. I wasn’t sure about her in the beginning. But there is a reason she behaves the way she does, and it tore at my heart as it unfolded.

Peter’s escape takes him to the poor area where the merpeople live. Shunned by society, it is quite dreadful there. Peter wants to make changes, and I look forward to seeing that journey.

This book was previously published as a series of novellas called An Island Made for Two

Synopsis:

Two romance tropes for the price of one! Forced Proximity and Second Chance at Love


Abby Morgan just sold her house and waved goodbye to her kids as they head to college. She’s finally going after her dream: To live on the North Coast of Maine and to write Mystery Books. Before she signs off on the purchase of Cherry Tree Island, Abby agrees to spend two weeks alone on the self-sustaining island to ensure she’s up to the task.


This is a compilation of all the titles in the Cherry Tree Island series.
For updates, exclusive content, and news from your favorite characters, please join author Daisy Landish’s Monthly Newsletter.
https://tinyletter.com/daisylandishromance


A Word from Roxbury Books

Doesn’t this contemporary Christian romance sound interesting? I personally don’t think I could go two weeks alone on a self-sustaining island. I am curious to see how Abby manages. Th

Author Daisy Landish had the link to her newsletter in the blurb on Amazon, so I decided to include it here.

Vella Recommendations

Instead of reviewing each of these titles separately, I thought I would list some fun reads I discovered recently on Vella. Remember the first three episodes (chapters) are free. In no particular order:

Fantasy / Action & Adventure

This one starts off evil. I’m warning you. (Trigger warning: There’s implied rape. Multiple girls, and one is 14..) I feel for Trace, who not only was forced into military service, he’s now chained up and being experimented on by Karven. I also like Perin, who ends up as one of Karven’s specimens too. I want to see their escape and see where they go. I also want to see Karven get his comeuppance.

Teen & Young Adult / Fantasy

This was a lighter read, and I needed it after the darker book before it. If you like fairies, you’ll love this one. I kept thinking about the Tinkerbell movie when reading this one. I love the characters and their friendships. Thistle is our leading fairy. Her friends are Zazz and Thatch. (They are awesome.) I like the variety of fairies and fairy wings.

Teen & Young Adult / Fantasy

Delightful academy story.


Review: Break Every Chain

Synopsis:

High school senior Maverick Mason has what every guy his age wants: the girl, the grades, the god-like status. Amira Abbasi is the same age and lives in the same town, but her reality couldn’t be more different. In fact, no one outside her household knows she exists. A chance encounter may change that, but will it make a difference if her fate has already been sealed?


My Review:

This review is a little different, because I haven’t finished the book. For one thing, it isn’t finished. It’s serialized fiction available on Vella.

I was drawn in right away with the action in the first chapter. Maverick is a high school football star. We meet in the exciting opening. I liked Maverick and Amira’s first meeting, and I’m wondering what is going to happen next. (Because Amira is a servant to Lacey, Maverick’s date for the night.)

The first three episodes are free, and if you are like me, you’ll be spending your tokens on this. I look forward to seeing what author Aella Black as in store.

Falling for a Mermaid

Can she keep her mermaid tail a secret from the lifeguard capturing her heart?

Ella

I have a secret. Every time I come in contact with salt water, I pop a tail.

Because of that secret, my parents will hardly let me out of the house. So when my mom tells me I’m grounded, it doesn’t even faze me. She’s always busy partying on yachts, anyway. It’s not like she will know the difference if I sneak out.

Next thing I know, I’m at the beach, meeting up with a lifeguard I spent the majority of the summer crushing on. Everything about him makes me feel happy and safe. But I can’t ignore the fact that if I get too attached to him, he might discover my secret.

William

Because of my mom’s physically abusive boyfriend, I’ve been forced to leave my own home. I’ve been sleeping at the beach for the past several days.

Ella Paxton is the main girl who’s been on my mind for weeks. That’s why I’m shocked when she finds out about my situation and begs me to move into her guest house. That is, without her parents’ permission.

If you like sweet romance, then look no further! This book has lots of crush-worthy moments. It has hand-holding, flirtatious dialogue, and kissing. But you won’t find any swearing, nudity, or sex.


My thoughts:

It is getting warmer in my corner of the world, and soon there will be people and families gather at beaches and pools.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see a mermaid?

I actually have a mermaid in one of my books, although it is a small part. (I’m not saying which book.)

What’s your favorite mermaid story?