Last fall, I connected with a writer who was ‘putting the finishing touches’ on her debut novel just as I was at the time. Jina S. Bazzar was writing a new fantasy series and trying to decide how many books, where to split the plot lines, at what point to release each one. We chatted a few times, helped each other through some marketing plans and provided an ear whenever it was needed. She was really fun and engaging to talk with and I’m glad we connected.
Jina is also a mom, a writer at a fantastic magazine, Conscious Talk, and the author of a blog where she shares advice, life musings, reviews, book updates, and other fun content. She’s from Brazil, lives in the Middle East, and often has battles between different bugs! I say this with humor because of a few posts she’s shared about how she lets one bug stick around to help control another one. Spiders are involved, and it’s just scary to me! (Yes, I’m a baby apparently). Anyway, I digress…
Jina’s launched both her prequel short story, The Curse, and her first book in the series, Heir of Ashes. I will be reading Heir of Ashes this summer, but I took on the short story this week to immerse myself in the story… what a great thing to have something like this to introduce me to a new world… and if you read thru the review all the way to the end, you’ll find a way to get a copy for FREE! Let’s dive in…
Short Story Review
If you’ve read my book reviews before, you probably know that they tend to be mysteries, thrillers, historical or contemporary fiction; however, you also know I’m branching out to try a few different genres, including romance, fantasy and science fiction. An opportunity popped up to read a new book by debut author, Jina S. Bazzar, who has both a book and a prequel short story, The Curse, currently available. What a great opportunity to explore a new author and genre by reading her short story to get the ‘lay of the land’ before I dive into the details of a new fantasy series she’s currently writing.
I read the prequel eBook, The Curse, in less than an hour earlier this week via my iPad. With a title like this, and my interest in mysteries and suspense thrillers, who wouldn’t be intrigued! I’m normally not a reader in this genre because I prefer a clear understanding of all the rules and structure within the setting or world I’m reading about, and fantasy books often leave a lot to the imagination or surprise. Bazzar does a fantastic job providing details without over-building the background — just enough to wet your appetite to want to continue reading the series.
As I’m reading through the first half, I’m getting to know the characters, the background of the drama, the different types of creatures and/or humans… then suddenly, I see the emotional side of the The Curse beginning to form. I became invested quickly and as I finished the last few pages, I vividly remember thinking… “I may not get thoroughly excited by other worldly creatures, but wow, I’m definitely drawn in right now.” The impact of a decision the main character had to make and the loss of a connection (s)he suffers was enough to extract tons of emotion and hope for what could or might change to in the future to help find their way back together, save the family, or solve the battles between species. (Is that even the right word, species, when there are different types of humans, creatures, clans? I think I’m gonna learn something when I read the next book).
So… from a non-fantasy reader, this was the type of story that appealed across other genres and pulled this reader in. From secrets to mysterious plagues, future war to (un?)requited love, and family drama to trust, there’s a little bit of everything in this story. It excites me to keep reading, and that I plan to do in the next month when I take on the actual first book in the series, Heir of Ashes.
If you’re interested, you can download a copy of this short story for FREE via Smashwords. I hope you will, as this will give you a really intricate and eye-opening view into another world in a book with a strong writing style and a wonderful debut author. Kudos to Bazzar for tempting a non-reader in this genre to want to continue reading more.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.