Let me start this post with a little overall info about Dark Secrets.
Beware this will be a long post 😉
Here we go.
Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine
Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he’s been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won’t let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner’s a ghost, and he blames himself for her death. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss.
FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden
PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client…
DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart
When the devil starts the music, you’d better get ready to dance.
Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success…everything she’s ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil’s bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil’s started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps
THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson
Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her?
An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse.
HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella
A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name.
Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix.
THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella
A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother.
Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?
~ INTERVIEWs ~
I was lucky enough to ask every in this anthology participating author three questions. I asked the same three questions, because I love to see how the answers vary.
Thank you all for your effort. I really appreciate it.
>> Rachel Caine <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? I started with the title for this one, and an image of someone scraping painted names off of a private investigator’s office door. As I started thinking about it, I realized it blended with a puzzling (unsolved) pattern of real crimes that took place in my city (though in the 1970s, not the 1950s). Setting something in the 1950s in a Texas town gave me the chance to talk about the very strong, stark racial issues of the time, too.
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? I think it’s probably Grandma Carlyle. She’s a strong, no-nonsense woman who didn’t give up when others did. In many ways, she’s the prime mover of this story.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? They both have strong attractions for me. I love being able to alternate them … short stories are low commitment in terms of time, which means I can just release myself to have fun with them. I generally write them by the seat of the pants, not storyboarded out. Novels take much more planning, and which the process and rewards are great, the commitment can be daunting. Being able to do a run of short stories helps me refresh!
>> Cynthia Eden <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? I’ve always loved the idea of the sexy Femme Fatale heroines in the old school noir flicks—so I decided to take that Femme Fatale persona to the extreme…and my heroine, Savanna Moreau (a real vamp!) was born.
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? LOL, actually, I think it would be the hero—Mick! He’s just a normal guy, living his life—and then all of a sudden he finds himself surrounded by monsters.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? I love writing both—I think varying things up and writing stories of different lengths gives my mind a chance to focus in a new way (I’m not sure if that makes sense!). But stories of different lengths require me to try new pacing and plot methods—and I enjoy the challenge that these stories can present.
>> Megan Hart <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? Dance with the Devil is a follow-up to a short story I’d written called Ride with the Devil. Though you don’t have to Ride in order to Dance, I wanted to explore what happened to the characters after “the end.”
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? The heroine, Kathleen, for sure.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? I really like short stories, but I also love novels and novellas, so…everything!
>> Suzanne Johnson <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? I had recently done a lot of behind-the-scenes worldbuilding to bring Fairie and the Fae into my Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, so I wanted to do something else in that world, particularly with my Fae Hunters–the ancestors of mythical Hearne the Hunter who guard the veil between Faerie and the human world. The story itself is not tied to the series, really, but is just part of the shared world.
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? I most identify with the hero, Faulkner Hearne. He is a man (well, faery) who becomes torn between his duty, his responsibilities, and his heart–that type of struggle is meaningful to me personally, so I understand the tug between doing what’s expected and doing what your heart wants.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? I’ll always be a novelist, although I have grown to enjoy writing shorter works, especially novellas. They are harder than full-length novels to write, though!
>> Jeffe Kennedy <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? I always love the fairytale The Goose Girl and it hit me that this collection would be the perfect venue for a retelling.
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? I always identify with all of my characters on some level or another, or I don’t think I’d be able to write them well. But, Nix and Cavan, as my heroine and hero, are both people I admire and understand.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? Hmm. Probably longer novels at this point. I started out writing short – stories and essays – and I really had to learn over the course of years how to write long. Now my novels keep coming out longer and longer! I like having the room to slowly develop a more complex story. That said, I don’t think HEART’S BLOOD would have worked as a longer piece. The tension of the deceit couldn’t be realistically maintained for long.
>> Mina Khan <<
1. How did you get the idea for your short story? I always like to play with established conventions and in the djinn mythology you always hear about djinn being imprisoned in lamps and rings, so I wondered what if a djinn were trapped in a mirror? Then my mind went in all kinds of naughty directions and I ended up writing The Djinn in the Mirror. It was a lot of fun!
2. With which one of your characters from your short story can you identify yourself the most? Um, Rasputin…the cat.
3. What do you enjoy more – writing short stories or full-length books? I really like novellas because they’re not too long, and not too short. But I write what I’m inspired to write at the moment, so I have written short stories, poems, food columns, essays and novels…and I enjoyed every single experience.
~ Review ~
This anthology took me by surprise. Why you ask? Because I liked every single one of them, even the fae story by Suzanne Johnson and I’m not that much into fae.
Every one of them were quick to read. And a little dark, exactly like the title promised.
If you are in the mood of a short story collection of different authors or if you want to find some new authors of the paranormal romance genre, I recommend that you give Dark Secrets a try.
I know I will look up the other books written by all these authors.
Rating: 4,5 stars.