Emily, who recently reviewed "A Spirit of Vengeance" and "In the Driver's Seat" for Rainbow Reviews, is working her way through my backlist and so far seems to like everything. I love seeing new reviews of my stories pop up; they make me want to dive back in and write more, to say nothing of putting a silly smile on my face. :D
Here's what she said about one of my Halloween stories, Candy Courage:
Glenn Bellamy, a divorced dad, is taking his son around trick-or-treating. He confiscates some homemade peanut brittle ~ and eats it himself of course ~ not knowing that the old man who made it is an alchemist who adds something special to his candy each year. This year it was Courage, so when Glenn and his son hit Neal Sampson's house, Glenn finds himself flirting and making a date for the next day. Will the candy courage wear off, or will Glenn find the guts to go after what he wants?
"'No prob.' Glenn winked at Sam while opening up the wax paper packet and snagging a piece. 'This ith good thtuff,' he added around a bite of peanut brittle. 'Way too good to wathte on the kidth.'"
Sebastiano Fiorentelli likes to participate in the Halloween traditions by making homemade candy for all the kids. After being around the neighborhood for so many years, no one questions letting their kids eat the special candy but they really have no idea quite how special it is. Each year Mr. Fiorentelli adds something extra to the candy, and this year he has decided to make courage. Anyone that eats the candy gets a small burst of extra courage, that lil push they need to face their greatest fears. For Glenn Bellamy, when he hits co-worker Neal Sampson's house after eating the peanut brittle o' plenty, the candy helps him to openly flirt and make a date with the man he has been admiring from afar. The next day his fears start to break down his confidence, and Glenn struggles to hang onto the courage from his night of throwing caution to the wind by grabbing life, or someone else, by the balls.
The thing I love most about reviewing for Rainbow Reviews is that I get introduced to new authors that I otherwise might have missed and in the case of Angela Benedetti I feel that I've hit a gold mine. After reviewing In the Driver's Seat and A Spirit of Vengeance I knew I had to get the rest of her backlist and read every story. I now realize that I missed one but I will most definitely be rectifying that as soon as possible! I have loved each and every story I've read and look forward to reading more. Angela possesses a unique brand of storytelling that flows so easily and introduces characters that are engaging in just a few short pages. Each story I have read is fresh and thoroughly enjoyable, so much so that I read them more than once.
Candy Courage is a fun Halloween tale with an interesting quirk. I loved how Angela sets up the affect the candy has on people who consume it through eight-year-old Robbie who is afraid of the trampoline cage in his backyard and six-year-old Graciela who is frightened of her brothers' dog Lito. Children are so open with their feelings and the affect the candy has on their lives is touching and adorable. The story then focuses on Glenn as he is taking his son Georgie trick-or-treating. Glenn's relationship with his son is wonderful, and they have quite a bit of fun for Halloween. Eating the peanut brittle with a kick gives Glenn just the hint of courage he needs to throw caution to the wind and go after what he wants. What results, thankfully for readers, is what can only be referred to as "sextastic" which I have to say is one of my new favorite words. Unfortunately for Glenn, his insecurities start to creap back in and following along as he tries not to wimp out is capitavating and a joy to read. The two men geek out together a bit, something I always love being a fellow geek, and you just know they will hit it off quite well if Glenn can hang onto the newfound burst to his courage. Overall this is a phenomenal tale and a great Halloween story that I enjoyed immensely. Fans of Angela's writing will most definitely enjoy this story and anyone who hasn't had the chance to read any of Angela's stories must drop everything and read one immediately! You won't be disappointed!
And here's what she had to say about my other Halloween story, Chasing Fear:
Emilio loves Martin with everything he has, but he's still scared to go out and be openly gay, especially with the way his family reacted to the news. Martin just wants to go out and have a good time, so he pushes Emilio's limits to the breaking point. Emilio figures having greenman for a lover has its dangers, especially when it comes to going on a date in the great outdoors. Can he and Martin learn to see eye to eye?
"Sometimes having a Greenman for a lover was a pain in the culo."
Emilio knows he should be heading home to his partner Martin but he just can't bring himself to go, finding any excuse he can to stay outdoors. When he finds a tree that was felled by loosened soil after a heavy rain, he spends time clearing it by himself. Anything to have an excuse not to have to go out with Martin as he agreed to do, to be out in the open and not hiding the fact that he is gay. When Emilio doesn't show up like he's promise to, Martin seeks him out and decides to a change of plans. If Emilio can't bring himself to go out and have a good time, Martin will make his own good time, and the nature in the forest is on his side.
Yet another Halloween story that I enjoyed from a writer that has quickly moved to the top of my favorites list. The interaction between Emilio and Martin is quite fascinating for many reasons, not the least of which being that he is a Greenman. When Martin faces off with Emilio in the forest, Emilio is at a slight disadvantage as he can't control the vines and leaves and trees like Martin can. Emilio gets trapped, victim to Martin's desires, but despite everything, Martin loves Emilio deeply and is willing to stand by his side while Emilio battles his fears. This is a wonderful story with a paranormal twist that is unique and characters that are engaging and complex. Definitely check out this story!
Thanks so much to Emily for her wonderful reviews. :D