Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Before by Cambria Hebert

What if your life was charmed and everything in it was perfect…....

This is the story of my past. Of what things were like for me when everything was normal. Of what every teenager’s life is like. Clothes. Parties. Boys and summer vacation. What’s so wrong with that?

I liked it. I was happy. 

Until things changed. I changed.

I didn’t know that lies and secrets were about to take over my existence. I didn’t know there was someone out there, someone meant just for me. I didn’t know that I was about to go on a journey, a journey that would lead me to the girl I am today.

This is the beginning of the worst year of my life. Would I go back and change things? Erase everything that has happened to go back into these moments?

Not a chance.

This is a story of before.

Genre:  Young Adult Fantasy

Rating: * * * * *

My Review:
This short story tantalizes you into putting Masquerade (Heven &Hell 1) onto the top pf your tbr pile.  Hebert's writing flows beautifully as you are immediately drawn into the story.  Mere sentences pass and you already care about what will become of the characters.  Reading Before will make you hold your breath until Masquerade comes out.

Cover Art:
The detail that goes into this short story cover is amazing.  I love how the top right blurs out giving us a sense of an intense light source and the addition of the little white stars is just perfect.  The girl on the cover fits Heven perfectly (I hate, hate, hate when cover art poorly portrays the main character).

Whiteout by Cambria Hebert


Lost in a world of white, I lay. Pain and cold were my only companions. How long would it take me to die? Would the cold freeze my heart and stop its beating?

A red plastic sled saved the day. A woman saved my life.

Unfortunately, saving my life might cost Grace her own. We get one day together, Christmas day, one day of bliss among misery. Too soon the tree is down and all that’s left of the cinnamon biscuits are crumbs. 

The people who want me dead come back to see their task complete. I didn’t have a plan, but Grace did. 

Never trust a woman with a shotgun.

Genre:  Paranormal Romance (completely PG)

My Rating: * * * * *

My Review:

I was honored with an ARC of this amazing short story. I'm usually not a huge fan of short stories because it is hard to develop characters and the story in so few words, but Cambria Hebert delivers. From the first sentence, you are drawn into the story; the author's imagery is so vivid that you feel it. The characters feel well-rounded even in the short time we have with them and their growing affection believable. I loved every word of this work. I want more, but at the same time I don't feel like the author should expand the story to a full-length work; it's truly perfect just the way it is.

Cover Art:

Cover art is so essential to selling a book.  What can I say?  We do indeed judge a book first by it's cover.  As an artist I am especially drawn to cover art.  As I read a great deal of self published work, I've had to overlook many a poor cover design to find the gem underneath in the story.
This book was published by Otherworld Publications though I do not know their role in the cover design.  I find this cover to be such a compelling piece.  The limited use of shocking red against an otherwise calming background combined with the heart-shaped pool of blood in the snow communicates a lot about the story to us. It's a perfect example of how to draw in your reader before a single word is read.